Pediatric Medical Advocacy

The Firecracker Foundation is proud to offer this community a highly trained team of volunteers to advocate for the rights of all child survivors of sexual trauma and their families during their visit with the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) at Sparrow Hospital.

The Pediatric Medical Advocacy Team provides medical advocacy services to children and families during specialized medical care and forensic examination after experiencing sexual assault. Firecracker Advocates are volunteers with a range of professional and interpersonal backgrounds including social work students, therapists, grad students, community volunteers with experience working with refugees, foster children, schools, and other nonprofits in the area. They are passionate about the well-being of children and are willing to be on call around the clock. They drop everything to be sure that survivors have a support person at their side while they make important decisions about their next steps towards seeking justice and healing.

The advocate’s responsibility is to listen, to empathize, and to ensure the survivor’s needs are met to the fullest extent possible. Advocates connect children and families with invaluable community resources and services that address the aftermath of sexual trauma and encourage healing and recovery. They also ensure that patient’s rights are not being violated.

Advocates of The Firecracker Foundation are required to fulfill volunteer requirements that includes completing a volunteer application, background checks including a DHHS Central Registry Clearance, and basic training. Click here to read more about how to become a Firecracker volunteer.

Advocates will participate in 40+ hours of training on topics including but not limited to: Cultural Competency, Crisis Intervention Action Steps for Children & Families, and Medical & Legal Advocacy. The goal of the Pediatric Medical Advocacy Training is to equip all volunteers with the information they need to advocate for the rights of all survivors of sexual trauma and provide support to their family and/or guardians.

This training was developed by North Star Wellness Center with training consultants Lauren Allswede and Shari Murgittroyd. The Advocacy Committee continually provides evaluation, development, and continued education to the Pediatric Medical Advocacy Team.

Advocates are asked to commit to 1 – 24 hr. on call shift every month as well as attend monthly meetings where additional training and support are offered.

For more information about joining this team, email