Guardian Advocate VolunteerBookmark This
Mental Health Association of Central Florida
1525 E Robinson St
DescriptionWe are a non-profit organization that aims to provide mental health services, support and information
to the members of our Central Florida community.
Guardian Advocate Volunteers respond to requests for temporary guardianship of involuntarily committed clients. When persons are involuntarily hospitalized under the Baker Act and have no family members to advocate for them, volunteers are appointed to advocate for them during their stay in the hospital.
Responsibilities include researching and approving medications and treatment plans, working with the treatment team, and advocating for a patients’ rights under the Baker Act.
The schedule for this volunteer position is fairly flexible, and volunteers can take on as many clients as their availability and capacity will allow. Four hour training is required to be a Guardian Advocate. There is a nominal fee for a background check for volunteers.
ResponsibilitiesGuardian Advocate Volunteers respond to requests from local behavioral hospitals. Volunteers advocate for the rights of the patient and act as a safety net to ensure that the patient is being treated and fairly in the facility. Volunteers meet with the patient 2-3 times per week and get to know them as best they can so they can make decisions using substituted judgment.
Other duties include: talking with the unit therapist/charge nurse, researching and approving all medication plans, and communicating with the hospital staff and MHACF supervisors when needed.
RequirementsFlorida Law Requirements:
-18 YO +
-No ethical conflicts (work for a Receiving Facility, Professional named in the Baker Act, ect.)
-4 hour court approved training
-Basic Application & eventual court assignment to an individual
-No Felony convictions (to volunteer we will need you to complete a level 2 background check)
MHACF Preference for Volunteers:
-Available to devote 5 hours a week per client assigned (2 to 3 times a week)
-Available to attend one 4 hour training in office (usually Tuesdays 12-4)
-Strong attention to detail
-Ability to follow directions and specific protocols
-Internal drive to communicate w/ supervisors and treatment team
-Enthusiastic about feedback from supervisors and treatment team
-A passion for Advocacy and patient rights
-Clear and appropriate communication style
-At least 6 months beyond any personal crisis
-A schedule that matches at least one of our contracted hospital court dates to facilitate assignments
-Reliable cell phone
-Expectations of regular/frequent communication from MHACF and hospital staff. You must be able to check messages and emails regularly (daily).
-Facility survey given to staff for feedback for each client assigned.
-Ability to work independently.
-Has the confidence to ask questions as soon as they come up. (You are here to learn, not figure it out on your own.)
-Proactive thinker; plans ahead.
-Consistent or Flexible Schedules are the best fits for the Guardian Advocate position.