Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer with the Truancy Intervention Project!
We need attorneys to serve as Lawyers and Guardians ad Litem and non-attorneys as guardians, role models, and to help with early intervention. Volunteers are asked to commit one year, or as long as the child's case remains active, to provide legal and/or advocacy services for the child. Volunteers can expect to commit 25 or more hours on each case and are encouraged to build a positive, meaningful relationship with the child, serving as a role model and advocate for the child.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Truancy Intervention Project, please complete the registration form and we will contact you for our next seminar.
The attorney volunteer is appointed as the Lawyer and Guardian ad Litem for the child in a truancy case. All volunteers who wish to serve as an attorney for a child charged with truancy must be a Georgia State Bar member in good standing and attend the TIP training seminar. The attorney can expect to commit approximately 25 hours on each case.
In these roles the volunteer will make recommendations to the Court regarding programs and services to assist the child and family. Based on the facts of the case, the attorney will recommend a course of action to the child and then counsel the child on the benefits and disadvantages of accepting or rejecting the recommendation. At the same time, the attorney tries to accommodate the child's preferences and special needs.
Attorneys are not restricted to truancy cases. They can also serve as the guardian ad litem in educational neglect cases, which are cases in which parents are charged with neglect, or as volunteers in early intervention cases. If you are interested in serving as an early intervention volunteer, click here to review the job description.
Attorneys serving as legal counsel on truancy cases are asked to commit one year, or as long as the child remains on Juvenile Court supervision, to provide legal and advocacy services for the child and to be a positive role model for the child. The attorney can expect to commit approximately 25 hours on each case.
The attorney fulfills these major roles:
Responsibilities of the Attorney as Lawyer and Guardian ad Litem:
All TIP volunteers can serve as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) in truancy cases. GALs can be assigned in truancy cases and serve as an appointed officer of the court who represents the best interests of the child. The guardian ad litem is given a court order that allows him/her to investigate the child's situation and make reports to the court upon completion of that investigation. The volunteer will build a relationship with the child and seek resources to try to meet the child's needs. Volunteers are expected to serve as the GAL on each case for at least a year or until the case is closed and to be present at future proceedings.
The GAL has three major roles:
Volunteers are expected to expand their role as a GAL to that of a role model. Developing a positive and supportive relationship with the children plays an important role in how much of a positive impact volunteer will have on a child and his/her family.
At times, the attorney assigned to a truancy case will come to a point in the case when he/she feels that the dual role of attorney and guardian ad litem has become a conflict. At that time, a separate guardian ad litem will be appointed to serve the best interests of the child, and the original volunteer will remain in the attorney role to maintain the confidential relationship with the child. The guardian ad litem and attorney then work together to make recommendations as to what would be best for the child and to advocate for the child in court.
There are times when a new volunteer wishes to partner with another new or seasoned volunteer as he/she is learning about his/her role. The Project staff appreciates this need and can and will accommodate it when possible. As the old saying goes, "Two heads are better than one."