Oklahoma Lawyers for Children (OLFC) needs attorney and non-lawyer volunteers to assist in OLFC's attorney and non-lawyer programs. OLFC is the only not-for-profit organization that provides legal representation for children in foster care. All OLFC volunteers must pass a background check and complete the training necessary for each program. OLFC's volunteer programs are the following:
OLFC Shelter Volunteers: Non-lawyer volunteers are needed each day to visit the Pauline E. Meyer Children's Shelter each day to provide comfort to children just taken into protective custody and gather information that will be provided to the OLFC attorney volunteer attorney that represents each child at daily Emergency Custody Hearings.
OLFC GAL/Investigator: Non-lawyer volunteers are trained to serve as initial investigators in newly filed deprived cases. These volunteers have brief assignments at the beginning of deprived cases to gather information, records, and other pertinent information about the child and present a report to the Court and attorney for the child at the First Pre-Trial Conference in the deprived case. Typically, the volunteer will have between 10 days and 3 weeks to complete the information gathering process and prepare a report. This volunteer's service at the very beginning of a case is invaluable to the Court and the attorney for the child and the family as a whole.
OLFC Show Cause Volunteer: Attorney volunteers represent each and every child taken into protective custody at Emergency Show Cause hearings which take place 5 days a week at the Juvenile Justice Center in Oklahoma County. Sign up for one day or as many as you like.
OLFC Mentor Volunteer: OLFC focuses this program on matching older youth (16-18) in foster care with a trained OLFC volunteer to help the older child attain the 7 goals listed on that child's Transitional Living Plan prior to the time the child ages out of foster care. Volunteers must commit to 6 months with the child and can spend a minimum of 4-6 hours per week assisting the child with attaining goals.
OLFC Attorney Volunteer: Attorney volunteers are trained by OLFC regarding all aspects of deprived cases. Most do not realize that Oklahoma Statutes require that every child taken into protective custody have an attorney, but only the Juvenile Public Defenders or OLFC attorney volunteers are authorized to represent children in deprived proceedings. Currently there are only 5 juvenile Public Defenders to represent over 5000 children in custody in Oklahoma County. The remainder of the children are represented by OLFC attorney volunteers. Clearly, there is a great need for OLFC attorney volunteers to represent deprived children. Cases assignments may have very brief or longer term durations.
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If you are interested in becoming an OLFC volunteer, please visit http://www.OLFC.org or call the Oklahoma Lawyers for Children office at 405-232-4453.