Make a difference in the life of an unaccompanied immigrant child by volunteering to serve as a Child Advocate in Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Harlingen, TX; Houston, TX; or Washington D.C.

Who are Child Advocates? A Child Advocate is an adult who volunteers to spend time with and advocate on behalf of an individual unaccompanied immigrant child while he or she is subject to immigration proceedings. We welcome volunteers from all cultures, professions, races, ethnicities and social backgrounds. Advocates must be at least 21 years old. We have a particular need for bilingual volunteers who speak Spanish, Mandarin, Indian languages (Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati), Bengali.

How can I become a Child Advocate? Before being assigned, Advocates are required to complete a two-day training session on child development, communicating with children, U.S. immigration law and issues facing unaccompanied immigrant children. Once assigned to an individual child, each Advocate receives continuing training, support, and supervision from the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.

What do Child Advocates commit to do?

■ Visit with the child each week.

■ Help the child think through options and decisions.

■ Accompany the child to court hearings and other important meetings and interviews.

■ Conduct research on the child’s situation in his or her home country.

■ Draft a written report regarding best interest recommendations.

■ Maintain communication with the Young Center staff, the child’s Case Manager at the shelter and the child’s attorney.

■ Advocate for the best interest of the child.

If you are interested in volunteering to be a Child Advocate in any of our office sites, please contact the volunteer coordinator at the site you are interested in serving: 

Office Site

Volunteer Coordinator

Email Address

Chicago, IL Geoff Wood gwood@theyoungcenter.org
New York / New Jersey Rubi Rodriguez rrodriguez@theyoungcenter.org
Harlingen, TX Thomas D’Adamo tadamo@theyoungcenter.org
Houston, TX Rachel Wootten rwooten@theyoungcenter.org
San Antonio, TX Nicole Cooper ncooper@theyoungcenter.org
Los Angeles, CA Kelly Rose Garza krgarza@theyoungcenter.org
Phoenix, AZ Priscilla Guadarrama pguadarrama@theyoungcenter.org
Washington D.C. / Virginia Taryn Kitchen tkitchen@theyoungcenter.org