Child Advocates/GALs

Walla Walla County Child Advocates
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What is a Child Advocate?

A Child Advocate or a volunteer Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is a trained member of the community who volunteers to act as an advocate for children that are involved in court proceedings, due to having experienced abuse or neglect.


What role does a Child Advocate have, what does a Child Advocate do?

A Child Advocate's role is to advocate for a child by presenting to the court an informed and objective perspective regarding the best interest of the child.

Child Advocates attend court hearings regarding the child’s case, visit the child on a regular basis, and attend case relevant meetings. As an advocate for a child, volunteers talk with individuals involved in a child’s life and gather objective, factual, information. Using this information, a Child Advocate makes recommendations as to what is in a child’s best interest by submitting a report to the court.

How does a Child Advocate make a difference?

Studies have shown that the introduction of a caring adult in the life of an abused child can alter the path of that child’s life forever. Child Advocates can make a profound and positive difference for an abused child.

Children with a volunteer advocate are more likely to find a permanent home and spend less time in foster care.

Who can be a Child Advocate/GAL?

Child Advocate volunteers come from a variety of educational, professional, and cultural backgrounds. No special skills are required, only someone who is committed to making a difference.

To become a Child Advocate/GAL volunteer, you must be at least 21 years of age, be able to pass a background check, participate in an in-person interview, complete 30 hours of pre-service training, and be able to commit 18 months to the program.

For more information about becoming a Child Advocate volunteer, call us at (509) 524-2801 or e-mail:  klbrown@co.walla-walla.wa.us