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Article Archive >> In Your County

Court Appointed Special Advocates schedules training

Court Appointed Special Advocates schedules training

Approximately 2,500 cases of child abuse or neglect were reported in Washington County in 2005. Over 1,500 cases were investigated and 400 cases were found to be "indicated", meaning sufficient evidence was found to warrant child welfare agency involvement. Child welfare agencies attempt to remedy or correct family issues that may have had a precipitating factor in the abuse or neglect.
Sometimes, when remedy or corrective actions are not successful, the courts intervene to accept jurisdiction of the welfare of children. The children may continue to reside with a parent or family member, or may be placed into a foster family or group foster care programs. Once in the jurisdiction of the courts, judges monitor the continued placement and services necessary to the children.
Last y ear Washington County has ranked 6th in comparison to all other Maryland county/city jurisdictions, per 1,000 children, in reported incidents of child abuse or neglect.
From 1998-2003 (the last year in a 5 year study), Washington County had at least double, and in 2003 had triple the rate of child abuse and neglect cases compared to the Maryland statewide rate per 1,000 children.
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County recruits, screens, trains, and supervises volunteers who can assist the courts in monitoring cases of children in adjudicated cases of child abuse or neglect. Volunteer advocates review case files, conduct interviews to assess the "best interests" needs of children in the courts jurisdiction. They provide recommendations to the courts regarding placement and services for the child and family.
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County will be conducting a training program beginning in August. This training program is highlighted by a 30-hour training agenda scheduled to begin on Wednesday, August 2 and Saturday, August 5, in separate, but concurrent 8 week training sessions. Training sessions will conclude on Wednesday, September 16 and Saturday, September 19 respectively.
Wednesday sessions are from 6-8pm. Saturday sessions are from 9-11am. The training sessions will be held at the Washington County Health Department--Addictions and Mental Health Services United, 13114 Pennsylvania Avenue, Hagerstown.
Contact them at 240-313-3383.

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