Children & Families

Pro Bono Opportunities
Community Service Opportunities

PRO BONO OPPORTUNITIES

Students interested in legal placements should contact Elizabeth Walsh at ewalsh@wulaw.wustl.edu  for more information.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)--St. Louis County

County CASA advocates for abused and neglected children in need of safe and permanent homes, consults with all affected parties and professionals, monitors service plans and their implementation, assists with guardian ad litem duties when requested, and conducts independent investigation and prepares reports for the courts.

  • Opportunities: advocate for abused or neglected child as an officer of the court, make all contacts and access all recording pertaining to the child to determine what is in his/her best interest; may also serve as "Friends of CASA" volunteer
  • Qualifications/Requirements: must attend an informational meeting, interview, background (criminal and child abuse/neglect) check, training (33 hours over 3 week period); after training is complete, requires approximately 15 hours per month time commitment
  • Contact: Allie Ray , 121 S. Meramec, 2nd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63105, 615-2908, fax 615-0621, information@casastlcounty.org

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

LSEM is a private, non-profit organization providing legal assistance and equal access to justice for low-income people in civil cases. Some of the areas addressed by the office include: domestic violence/family law, subsidized housing, homelessness (including homeless adolescents), homeowners' mortgage default and foreclosure, elderly issues, AIDS, health and welfare, immigration, access for children to appropriate educational services, and the volunteer lawyer program.

  • Opportunities: legal interns needed for above departments; tasks include: client intake, drafting pleadings and motion, filing at courthouses, research, assisting with interviewing clients, setting court dates, case management, drafting financial agreements, investigation, and advocacy.
  • Qualifications/Requirements: positions for all level students, some positions have preference for Rule 13, immigration unit prefers students who have had immigration class(es) and speak a second language; initial screening and then interview with attorney in desired unit; hour long orientation required.

Voices for Children

The mission of Voices for Children is to speak on behalf of abused and neglected children in the City of St. Louis.  Voices for Children promotes and supports quality volunteer representation for children and advocate for safe, permanent, and nurturing homes for each child.

  • Opportunities: legal internships representing children, organize book drives for book project, maintain children's waiting room, office work, volunteering at fundraising events (such as a 5K walk in October); appointment as Guardian ad litem.
  • Qualifications/Requirements: background check, interview, special training (have a weekend session for students); hours are flexible
  • Contact: Meg Feely, Volunteer & Community Relations Assistant, 920 N. Vandeventer, St. Louis 63108, 552-2120, fax 535-8870, mafeely@voicesforchildrenstl.org, www.voicesforchildrenstl.org

COMMUNITY SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

Almost Home, Inc.

Through transitional housing and education, Almost Home provides a secure environment to develop the emotional, social, economic, and family skills needed for self-sufficiency in teenage mothers and their children who are homeless or caught in unsatisfactory living conditions. One of the programs is M.O.M., a mentoring program that provides teen mothers with a positive female to look up to and someone whom they can count on.

  • Opportunities: Teaching a class 1 evening a week (4-6 week commitment), working in playroom with newborns to 4 years olds; outdoor work such as plant/yard maintenance, shoveling snow and general yard work; clerical assistance (i.e., mailings & development)
  • Qualifications/Requirements: background and child abuse check and interview; time commitment of 1-1½ hours per week

BAMSL – Young Lawyers Division 

BAMSL – YLD provides a forum for young attorneys to participate in BAMSL’s activities and community service projects.  Projects include the Angel Tree; Bridging the Gap, which provides assistance for young lawyers and law students during their transition into the practice of law; Call A Lawyer; Continuing Legal Education; the Glass Slipper Project; Law Student Services; Legal Beagles; Lunches With Leaders; Read Across America; Teens Speak Out!; and Tomorrow’s Lawyers, which encourages minority youth to consider a career in the legal profession. 

  • Opportunities:  a wide variety working on YLD’s projects
  • Qualifications/Requirements:  positions for all level students; requires energy and enthusiasm.
  • Contact: Delores Willis, BAMSL Staff Coordinator, 1 Metropolitan Square, Suite 1400, St. Louis 63102, 421-4134 (ask for Delores Willis), fax: 421-0013, dwillis@bamsl.org

Beyond Housing/NHS

The organization helps provide decent, secure, and affordable housing and support to low-income families and children. In addition to shelter, Beyond Housing/NHS provides families with vital support services, including training for homeownership, parenting skills, employment counseling, childcare assistance, money management training, vocational assistance, tuition support, cultural activities, and other special projects.

  • Opportunities: Possible real estate legal work may be available on a time-to-time basis; house crews are needed to prepare a home for a new family by cleaning, painting, landscaping, etc.; and Partners in Self-Sufficiency assists with family events, grant writing.
  • Qualifications/Requirements: 5-20 hours, Monday - Friday (8:00a.m.-5:00 p.m.). call for more information
  • Contact: Gloria Trice, gtrice@beyond housing.org or 533-0600

Epworth Children & Family Services, Inc.

In partnership with the community and United Methodist Church, provides residential, educational, recreational, and counseling services to youth ages 11-21. Also operates Independent Living Program for older youth and provides supportive services to families

  • Opportunities: community/family/youth advocacy, education on rights and the law, case manager, recreational assistant, tutor
  • Qualifications/Requirements: background check and references; weekly time commitment (both day and evening hours are available)
  • Contact: Margaret Mahan, 110 North Elm Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119, 918-3300, fax 963-9152

Family Court of St. Louis County, 
Citizen Deputy Juvenile Officer Program

The misson of the CDJO Program is to utilize trained volunteers to proved services to court-involved youth and their families.  The Mentor Program and Detention Center volunteers are part of the CDJO Program.

  • Opportunities: Volunteers work with qualified staff in the areas of Child Protective Services, Clinical/Family Services, Community Development, Delinquency Services, Detention, Domestic Relations, Human Resources, Legal, and Operations.  Students may manage cases, meet with youth and their families, attend court hearings, coordinate youth activities, and make home/school visits.
  • Qualifications/Requirements: CDJOs are recruited, screened and placed on an on-going basis.  Screening consists of a completion of an application form, submitting to a police record check/fingerprint check/child abuse & neglect screening, 6 references, training, and adhering to court rules.
  • Contact: Barbara Ann Hughes, CDJO Coordinator, 501 S. Brentwood Blvd., Clayton, MO 63105; 962-6866, ext. 17.

Family Support Network

The Family Support Network is a nonprofit, social service agency that works to prevent child abuse through direct services, education, and community-based collaboration.

  • Opportunities: volunteer case aide (assist low income families with transportation, support for general living skills, tutoring/mentoring children, respite for parents), office support (mailings, answering phones, etc.), special events (event planning, preparation, and participation)
  • Qualifications/Requirements: must complete volunteer packet and orientation (approx. 1 hour), police record check and child abuse check; 1-2 days/week for office work, 1 day/week with families (approximately 2 hours)
  • Contact: Sue Didier, sdidier@familysupportnet.org, 29 North Gore Ave., St. Louis 63119, 963-1450, fax 963-9571.

Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club

The Club provides structure recreational and educational activities for neighborhood youths ages 5-18. It emphasizes the "Three R Principle: Respect, Restraint, Responsibility" through recreational, cultural, and educational programs that build self-esteem and teach moral, personal, social and cultural development.

  • Opportunities: various positions in public relations, administration and recreational departments
  • Qualifications/Requirements: interview, willingness to work with the public and children; start date may be determined by placement area; volunteer hours are structured on an individual basis and are available any time Monday through Friday from 8:00 am-8:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 am-6:00 pm
  • Contact: Barbara Washington, 4245 North Kingshighway, St. Louis 63115, 382-5952, fax 389-3033

Mentor St. Louis

The program goals of Mentor St. Louis are to provide a caring adult mentor to every eligible child who wants one at each of their seven school sites, to build a community of mentors at each participating school, to work as a team and help the schools provide, to provide "life guidance" to mentees and promote personal and social responsibility and to help explore and create his/her personal identity.

  • Opportunities: Mentors meet at least 1 hour per month with their mentee during the school year.  Volunteers may write, call or visit their mentee 2 times during each month.
  • Qualifications/Requirements: Enjoy working with children in elementary school; application and background check; training must be completed before each mentor is paired with a mentee.
  • Contact: Bobbi Closser, 4236 Lindell, Suite 105, St. Louis 63108, 531-2570, fax 531-3385; clark@mentorstlouis.org; For more information, visit www.mentorstlouis.org

Progressive Youth Connection

Progressive Youth Center is committed to keeping kids in school and advocating for a positive school experience in a violence-free environment. They offer prevention programs for positive choices and promote a safe school environment that ensures academic and social success for children and teens. To achieve this, PYC cooperates with individual schools and school districts, parent-teacher and other organizations to develop and deliver programs that teach youth essential life skills to help them prepare for the challenges they will encounter.

  • Opportunities: after-school programs (supervise, tutor, prevention and recreational activities, provide strength-based support), special events (organize, set-up, implement, etc.)
  • Qualifications/Requirements: interview, background check, training if necessary; volunteers can usually start within two weeks; for after-school programs, students can volunteer for one or two days a week, program times are 2:30-4:30; times vary for special events
  • Contact: Mary Peterson, 311 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis 63141, 993-3566, fax 993-9253; marypyc@aol.com

St. Louis Cares

A program of the United Way of Greater St. Louis Volunteer Center, St. Louis Cares is based on the programs of City Cares of America, a network of organizations that engage over 100,000 individuals in direct, hands-on service to their communities each year. St. Louis Cares knows that your time is valuable, so they help identify volunteer opportunities that are satisfying, safe, fun and make the most efficient use of your time--often, projects are completed in two hours or less.

  • Opportunities: numerous and varied, and take little time
  • Qualifications/Requirements: orientation/training required; call for more information
  • Contact: Rick Skinner, Director of the Volunteer Center, 539-4284, skinnerr@stl.unitedway.org.


Youth Emergency Services (YES), Epworth

YES is an emergency shelter for adolescents from 11-17 years of age who are experiencing family crises, physical or sexual abuse, neglect, and disruption of previous out-of-home placement. YES offers many services to these youth, including education, community outreach, a 24-hour help-line, legal services, individual and group therapy, and family/aftercare therapy to secure a smooth transition back into the home. Structured recreation and educational opportunities are also provided to youth in the shelter.

  • Opportunities: peer mentoring, special projects & presentations, helpline, administrative assistance
  • Qualifications/Requirements: please call for more information
  • Contact:  918-3330, fax 963-9152, yes@stl.unitedway.org