COBB COUNTY GOVERNMENT
How to Volunteer at the Juvenile Court
The Juvenile Court of Cobb County has several volunteer opportunities for people who enjoy working with children and families. We offer comprehensive training and expert supervision for volunteers in each of these programs. Some programs allow volunteers to work in groups and others require people who are comfortable working one-on-one with victims of child deprivation.
Volunteers must pass a police records check as well as other screening procedures.
You will find a brief description and contact information for each our volunteer opportunities below:
When a child is alleged to be the victim of child abuse or neglect (deprivation), the Court will often appoint a CASA for the child. That person is responsible for independently investigating the case. If the case proceeds to court the CASA will speak for the child and give the Court an opinion recommending an outcome that the CASA believes is in the best interest of the child. If the Court continues to exercise jurisdiction over the case, the CASA will work with the child throughout the child's tenure at the Court to ensure that the court order is being complied with and that the treatment plan is still appropriate for the child. These volunteers must be able to communicate effectively with children and others, to come to court when needed, and operate effectively in an environment involving lawyers, courts, state agencies, etc.
For more information about CASA contact Carlene Redmond at (770) 528-2285.
Children who are in the temporary custody of the Department of Human Resources, Division of Family and Children Services are in need of a permanent, loving and safe home. The Court will have issued an order designed to reunify the child with family, setting out certain goals and objectives to be reached by parents, caseworkers, etc. to accomplish the needed changes. The Panels work in groups of three to five trained volunteers and meet at the Juvenile Court with parents, caseworkers, counselors, and all other interested parties to review the current efficacy of the order. They consider the progress of the parties in meeting their goals and recommend changes that will make the reunification process more certain. They also flag cases where reunification is not succeeding. This process ensures that a child will not languish in foster care while parents are incapable or unwilling to improve their ability to provide a permanent home for the child. There are fifteen Panels and each meets monthly. Together, they review the cases of approximately 350 foster children in Cobb County.
For more information about Panels call Joshua Weeks (770) 528-2284.
Many good children violate the law experimentally or for other reasons and seem unlikely to repeat that behavior. When they are willing to admit wrongdoing and to accept a reasonable consequence for it, the Court may offer them entry into the Diversion Program. Within the Diversion Program the child and parents will meet with a community based panel of about five volunteers who consider the offense and the offender and craft a recommended sentence to dispose of the case. If the child and parents agree to the recommendation, they enter into a contract with the Diversion Program and the child is assigned to one of the Diversion Program panel members. The assigned volunteer counsels with that child and assists the child to accomplish the requirements of the contract. Once the volunteer certifies that the child has completed the contract the Court will dismiss the child's case and the child will not have a public record. If the child fails to complete the contract the child's case will be referred to a judge.
For more information about the Diversion Program contact Rita Evans at (770) 528-2243.