One of the lesser known services provided by the WCA is our Court Advocacy service. This service means that we have volunteers at the Ada County Courthouse every day of the week – meeting with anyone who comes in to file for a protection order. Thanks to the wonderful reputation our Court Advocate Manager and volunteers have, the clerks at the courthouse refer all petitioners to meet with them. In fact, of the 558 protection order requests filed during 2013, WCA staff and volunteers helped with 490, or almost 90 percent of them.
For many individuals showing up at the Ada County Courthouse, this is the first time they hear about the WCA and the services we offer. Regardless of whether a judge grants them a protection order, they are all informed of our safety planning service and have the opportunity to meet with our Victim Advocates (located at FACES – the Ada County Family Justice Center) to receive one-on-one information on how to best protect themselves. They are also made aware of the other services we offer so they can take advantage of those when appropriate.
With an average of more than two petitioners each and every day of the week, we could not be there daily without our wonderful Court Advocate volunteers. This is an example of how a gift of time by our volunteers allows us to provide services we otherwise could not afford to do. We are so grateful!