For The Child Seeks Volunteers For Child Abuse Response Team

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Do you have a desire to help children and their families at a time of great vulnerability and confusion for them? For The Child, a child abuse prevention and treatment agency is seeking volunteers for one of its most important services: its Child Abuse Response Team (CART).

CART is a group of highly dedicated volunteers who accompany a child (infant to 14) and their family through the child’s forensic medical exam for suspected sexual assault or molestation. Members of the CART team sign-up for a four-day weekday shift (daytime or evening) or a weekend shift to respond immediately (be at the hospital within one hour) when law enforcement activates the team. CART volunteers respond to hospitals in Long Beach, Torrance, and San Pedro.

As the child’s advocate, CART members meet the victim at the hospital and provide companionship during their visit by playing games, reading books, doing puzzles or other activities and helping them understand the process. CART members help the parents cope with what has happened and provide information for the family about the treatment services offered by For The Child for both the child and the parent(s).

Volunteers are required to attend 40 hours of training provided by For The Child. Training includes shadowing an experienced CART team advocate on a minimum of two calls. Training begins Tuesday February 10, from 6-9 pm. Interviews and screening will be conducted as part of the application process. References will be checked.

Volunteers must supply their own transportation and be able to respond within one hour of being called. Daytime responders are needed Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM; nighttime responders are needed between 5:00 PM and 8:00 AM Monday through Thursday and weekend responders needed for 24 hours on weekends and holidays (beginning at Friday 5 PM).

Interested volunteers should contact Chris Gutierrez as soon as possible so the screening process can begin. Call (562) 422-8472 or email cgutierrez@forthechild.org. A volunteer application is available at www.forthechild.org.

For The Child’s mission is simple and important. Children should be treated with respect and protected from abuse. The nonprofit 501c3 For The Child meets this challenge by providing both comprehensive child abuse treatment and family-focused mental health care, counseling, and therapy to strengthen families and provide the tools of healing to children.

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