Did you know it’s National Social Work Month? The 2018 theme for National Social Work Month is “Leaders. Advocates. Champions.” Let’s focus on the word “Advocates.” What exactly does it mean to be an advocate? Advocate, as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary is one who pleads the cause of another. The definition alone is powerful, but when a person puts advocacy into action, especially for children and youth, that’s when lives are impacted and the world can be changed for the better. Read below for a better understanding of the duties of child advocates and how their work ultimately helps to positively change the course of the future, because children are the future after all.
Some of the duties of a Child advocate might include:
Communication of child’s needs, medical and social history
Practical assistance to family
Working with family to make sure child is appropriately screened for special needs
Creating Rapport between family, child and Child Advocate
Involving family in all aspects of placement
Facilitating visits for child with family, relatives and siblings based on court ordered visitation
Tracking of child’s case within state adoption/foster care database.
Attend all court hearings and make recommendations to judge
How This Job Services Human Beings
Impact a Child Advocate Has on Society
The work of a Child Advocate has a profound impact on society, the child and the family.
Among the benefits to society are:
Decreasing drop-out rates
Increasing test scores
Creating better school environments
Decreasing Juvenile crime rates
Decreasing costs of children in the system through adoptive placement
Impact on the Child
The impact of the Child Advocate on the life of the child is nothing short of miraculous. By taking a child who had previously been in an abusive situation and had become a ward of the state and placing them with a family, the Child Advocate gives the child the gift of a new chance in life. It is impossible to overstate the tremendous impact a Child Advocate has on a child. Few jobs have more impact on the individual than the Child Advocate has on the child.
Impact on the Family
The Child Advocate facilitates the assessment, rapport building and placement of a child with an adoptive family. The gift of a new child to brighten the home and bring joy to the new parents is truly something special. For some couples, the adoption of a child is the only way they can have children. The placement of a unique and special being in the form of a brand new member of the family will have a lifetime impact on an adoptive family. Few jobs have a bigger impact on families than that of the Child Advocate.
*Excerpt from https://www.humanservicesedu.org/child-advocate.html