2019 Leelanau Count Probate and Family Court Volunteer Handbook
Hon. Marian Kromkowski
Dear Leelanau County Citizen:
The Leelanau County Probate and Family Court has the serious responsibility of providing appropriate services for the most vulnerable citizens of our County - its children, its elderly, and its infirm.
Many of the issues that we address require formal court hearings or the intervention of professional services such as counseling or placement; however, there are many everyday problems that can be resolved with the assistance of a volunteer to help and guide an individual. Our volunteer services include such things as providing transportation, tutoring, mentoring, sitting with a child who is in detention, or helping with a group outing.
Leelanau County has so many talented individuals who are willing to share their time to assist other individuals who are in need. If you have an interest in serving as a volunteer for our Court, we would certainly like to hear from you. We would then sit down with you and talk more about what assistance you may be able to provide.
Probate/Family Court Judge
Volunteering with the Leelanau County Family Court
The Leelanau County Family and Probate Court utilizes volunteers in a variety of ways. Youth on probation are considered “at risk youth” and often will benefit from contact with a stable and caring adult. Volunteers work under the supervision of a volunteer coordinator and directly with Juvenile staff.
The become a volunteer with the Family and Probate court a potential volunteer must fill out an application and submit to a criminal records check. Volunteer employment is also subject to employment criteria as established by the State of Michigan. For some roles specific training is required and provided by the State Regional Detention Support Services (RDSS).
There are many different opportunities for volunteering with the Leelanau County Family Court. A volunteer may well like one job and not another. An interview with the volunteer coordinator may help to clarify what is involved with becoming a volunteer and help point you toward the right role for you.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES IN PROBATE COURT
CONSERVATORS administer fiances for protected persons.
GUARDIANS oversee the personal needs of legally incapacitated and developmentally disabled adults and minors.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES IN FAMILY COURT
Mentors are requested for youth by their caseworkers where a stable adult role model would be an asset. The specific parameters of this assignment are determined on a case by case basis.
Youth on probation or diversion are encouraged to have passing grades. Caseworkers will request tutors based on the specific subject area needs of an individual youth. Tutors are not required to be experts in all subject areas or trained as teachers; they do need to be organized and help a youth focus on their work.
The Court utilizes transporters to take youth to and from placements, counseling appointments, and other trips when needed. Some trips require a team of two volunteers.
Caseworkers engage youth in several types of group activities. An extra set of hands and eyes are welcome to join the outing.
OUT OF SCHOOL SUSPENSION ATTENDANTS
Youth on probation, suspended from school, are obligated to spend their suspension days in the non-secure holdover room at the jail. The volunteer may assist the youth with school work while monitoring their behavior.
HOLD OVER ATTENDANTS
For a variety of reasons, youth may be held in the non-secure juvenile holdover site at the jail. Volunteers work in teams of two and supervise the youth being held. Shifts may last up to 8 hours.
COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATES (CASA)
CASAs are appointed in cases of neglect or abuse of children. A CASA attends all court hearings for their child and acts as an objective additional set of eyes and ears for the court. CASAs provide vulnerable youth with a consistent caring presence throughout their time under the jurisdiction of the court. CASA volunteers receive 30 hours of training as well as ongoing support from court staff.
Volunteers may be compensated for some roles with the court. Compensation for volunteers’ time expenses and mileage are covered based on the rates set by RDSS or the Court.
VOLUNTEER REPORTING SUGGESTIONS
Volunteers who work with youth under the supervision of the court may hear things from youth that could be of a disturbing nature. Youth will often feel comfortable in talking to a volunteer, but volunteers are not therapists or counselors. It is the PO’s responsibility, along with other trained professionals, to sort out the issues that are affecting a youth. It is the volunteer’s position to support that process. If a volunteer has concerns regarding abuse, neglect or health of a youth, they should discuss is with the Volunteer Coordinator or the person’s PO. There is never the assumption of a confidential relationship between the youth and volunteer.
You may apply to become a volunteer by clicking on the link below. Or to get more information and/or a copy of the application, contact:
Joseph Povolo, Volunteer Coordinator
Leelanau County Family Court
8527 E Government Center Dr., Ste. 203
Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Telephone (231) 256-9803