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Safe Haven issues appeal for volunteers

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

Safe Haven Child Visitation Centers of the New River Valley needs you!

Ellen Mitchell, Safe Haven director, said the agency is in “desperate” need of volunteers in Pulaski and Wytheville who can dedicate a couple of hours a month to help keep a child safe during court ordered visitations or exchanges between parents.

Mitchell explained that courts often issue protective or custody orders that require a third party to either monitor the exchange of children between estranged or divorced parents or to supervise visits with non-custodial parents in a safe, controlled environment.

This is where Safe Haven steps in. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the nonprofit agency provides monitored exchanges and home-like visitations at its facilities at 44 Third St. NW in Pulaski and at 405 W. Main St. in Wytheville. At least two volunteers are required for each exchange or visitation.

She said volunteers must be at least 21 years old, have a love of children and have a real desire to help. Some experience in childcare or child development is preferred.

Volunteers receive training in observation, note taking and rules and procedures. They also must undergo a criminal background check, which is no cost to them.

“Volunteers may work at their own convenience to minimize disruption to their normal routine,” said Mitchell. “Any amount of time will help and will be greatly appreciated.”

To volunteer or obtain more information, call Mitchell at 808-0096.

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