P&A has internships for students in law school, social work, or related programs. For additional information, click here.
Team Advocacy Project
What is the Team Advocacy Project?
- Team Advocacy is a program of Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. It was designed in response to repeated concerns about the quality of life for people in institutions and Community Residential Care Facilities (CRCFs).
- The project is empowered by Section 43-33-350 (4) of the South Carolina Code to conduct surprise inspections of CRCFs in South Carolina. P&A’s Team Advocates and trained volunteers have been conducting these surprise inspections since the project was approved by SC legislature in 1985.
What are CRCFs?
- CRCFs are facilities that offer room and board and which provide a degree of personal care for a period of time in excess of 24 consecutive hours for two or more persons, 18 years old or older. The list of all CRCFs is at http://www.scdhec.gov/health/licen/hrtypfac.htm.
- CRCFs should be designed to accommodate residents’ changing needs and preferences, maximize residents’ dignity, autonomy, privacy, independence, and safety and encourage family and community involvement. The requirements for operating a CRCF are found in SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Regulations 61-84 at http://www.scdhec.gov/health/licen/hlcrcfinfo.htm.
Who is a part of Team Advocacy?
- Team Advocate
- Trained Inspection Volunteers! All volunteers attend a mandatory training session in which they learn about all aspects of P&A, the Team Advocacy Project and how to conduct inspections.
What happens during an inspection?
- The Team Advocate and trained volunteer(s) travel together to conduct the unannounced inspection.
- Using a survey tool, the Team Advocate and volunteer(s) inspect the facility for cleanliness, safety and quality of life issues. Volunteers are trained to ask themselves “Would I like to live here?” The volunteer will then interview residents while the Team Advocate reviews the residents’ records and medications. A meal will also be observed. An exit interview with the administrator will occur before the Team Advocate and volunteer(s) leave the facility to note items of concern. If any serious concerns related to a residents’ immediate health are present, the appropriate authorities will be contacted within 24 hours.
What happens after the inspection?
- The Team Advocate prepares and sends a written report to the administrator which describes in detail a full account of the inspection. Residents’ names are not used to ensure confidentiality. This report is also sent to state agencies and other advocacy organizations that have an interest in improved quality of care in CRCF’s. To read inspection reports click here.
Will I be able to volunteer?
- If the following describes you, you would make a great volunteer: I have good verbal and written communication skills, attention to detail, am dependable, can maintain composure in any situation and feel comfortable using interviewing skills.
- To become an Inspection Volunteer, you need to fill out an application. Approved applicants will be asked to attend a training session. Trainings are held throughout the year in major areas such as Charleston, Florence, Greenville and Columbia. Currently, trainings are held on an as needed basis. Please contact the Team Advocate to determine if an upcoming training is scheduled in your area.
- Access a Volunteer Job Description.
- To protect the safety of people in these homes;
- To work with people with different disabilities;
- To conduct program evaluations using a survey tool;
- To add to your resume.
When are inspections done?
- As a CRCF is a 24/7 operation, inspections can occur any time and any day. However, a majority of inspections occur between Monday and Friday and the hours of 8 am and 7 pm.
How do you apply to VOLUNTEER?
- Email the Team Advocate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Or if you know you want to volunteer, you can go ahead and download a Team Advocacy Volunteer Application. This is a Microsoft Word version which you can fill out on a computer and then email the team advocate at email@example.com. Or mail to: Team Advocate
Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities
3710 Landmark Drive
Columbia, SC 29204
- Call 803-782-0639 or toll free 1-866-275-7273 for more information.