If you are an individual who wishes to learn more about the Justice System, and at the same time make a significant contribution to your community, we invite you to check out the available Volunteer Placement Opportunities indicated below, that best match your area of interest and personal needs.
If you are interested in one or more of the following volunteer opportunities, please fill out the Volunteer Interest Form (Word Doc). Please fax or mail the completed form to:
Superior Court of California, County of Ventura
P.O. Box 6489
Ventura, CA 93006-6489
Fax number (805) 339-2945
If you have any questions please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at (805) 339-2937.
Volunteer Placement Opportunities
Children's Waiting Room (2 Locations)
Ventura Hall of Justice
The children's waiting room was established as a safe haven for children 2½ (toilet trained) to 14 years of age who must accompany their parents to court.
As a volunteer in the children's waiting room, you will be responsible for guiding child's play and activities, interacting with court personnel, and seeing that proper registration and log record procedures are being met. Your presence will bring a sense of calm to children who may feel anxiety in the face of a strange and sometime emotionally charged environment.
Volunteers must provide proof of current certification in CPR (Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation), and a negative T.B. (Tuberculin) test within 60 days of beginning service. Fingerprinting will also be required.
Superior Court Volunteer Auditor - Ventura Courthouse
The Superior Court of California, County of Ventura seeks volunteers to assist the court in monitoring the financial assets of children, seniors and others in guardianship and conservatorship matters. The volunteer auditor reviews filed financial statements to verify the accuracy of accounts, fees charged to the estate, the appropriateness of such things as sales and purchases, and the depletion rate of the estate’s assets. The volunteer auditor’s report will assist the court in determining if the estate is being managed in the best interest of the ward or conservatee.
Desirable backgrounds for Auditors include work as a CPA or Enrolled Agent in Corporate accounting, or similar training and experience.
Training in law and procedure relating to these specific types of audits is provided. Assistance with basic skills in Word is also available.
The Self-Help Legal Access (SHLA) Center
Located on the 4th Floor of the Ventura Hall of Justice in Room 400, the Ventura County Superior Court's Self-Help Legal Access Center was established in December 1997 to assist the growing number of self-represented litigants (parties to a lawsuit) in the court. The center is part of a creative public outreach project undertaken by the court to improve access to justice for all members of the community.
The center provides informational assistance in areas of law other than family law and civil harassment restraining orders. It helps self-represented litigants navigate the court system and refers people to community-based resources that can help them with a variety of needs. Because the SHLA Center sees both sides in cases, and must remain neutral, it cannot give legal advice, nor is there any attorney-client relationship developed in the center. Those needing legal advice are referred to State Bar approved lawyer referral services and non-profit legal services programs.
Volunteers in the SHLA Center include attorneys, law students, paralegal students, undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers in social work, and occasionally, others who have a background or interest in the legal field. Depending on their level of experience, volunteers assist with intake, directing people to the resources in the center, and referrals to outside resources.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Ventura County
- Contact person: Bernadette Cardenas
- Phone: (805) 389-3120
- Email: Bernadette@casaofventuracounty.org
- Website: www.casaofventuracounty.org
Every day in Ventura County, children are removed from their homes by protective services due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a volunteer and a sworn officer of the Juvenile Dependency Court for these children. The program is regulated by The California Administrative Office of the Courts and overseen by The Juvenile Dependency Court.
Trained CASAs work one-on-one with the children and help to protect their rights. CASAs assess the circumstances, report their findings to the Court, and advocate for the child. These children are in Court not because they are criminals, but because they are victims. CASAs provide them friendship and support.
In Ventura County, there are close to a thousand children in foster care. Only a small percentage of these children, however, have access to a CASA volunteer. CASA of Ventura County is dedicated to ensuring that every foster child appointed to the program has a qualified CASA volunteer looking out for his or her best interests. With the help of a CASA volunteer, a child is half as likely to languish in the foster care system and more likely to find a safe and permanent home. [See www.casaforchildren.org, "Evidence of Effectiveness".]
CASA of Ventura County is the only program of its kind in Ventura County. It is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization that provides a powerful voice in Court for abused and neglected children in our community.
To learn how to become a trained CASA volunteer or to find out how you can become involved in some other capacity with CASA of Ventura County, please go to www.casaofventuracounty.org.
- The Volunteer Coordinator maintains a volunteer file for each participant that maintains hours of service in each assignment and notes unusual achievements for use in writing letters of recommendation.
- To maintain courthouse security, prospective volunteers must pass a background check before acceptance into the program. Background check fees are to be paid by the volunteer.
- All volunteers are trained in the services they will perform on a one-to-one basis.
The court is deeply indebted to those public-spirited individuals who provide the essential service in the volunteering of their time and talent. Their generous personal contributions have enhanced the way their fellow citizens experience the Justice System.