You may not have to think too long to remember a teacher who made a difference in your life. Most of us grew up with at least one teacher who took the time to show he or she believed in us personally, and gave us courage and confidence to develop into the adults we are today.
A child advocate does the same thing, only in a professional capacity for kids who need an extra voice. People who work in this field typically exhibit unusually strong capacity for caring for kids, social justice or improving the lives of others in general.
What Does a Child Advocate Do?
Courts often appoint child advocates to become involved in a child’s life to steer them in a better direction . For very young children, this is especially crucial to their future success. They might need someone to arrange medical care, talk to their teachers, make sure they are performing well in school … anything to ensure that the children don’t get lost in the system.
Children in the foster care system are especially vulnerable, so the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) network was developed. County courts usually sub-contract with nonprofit organizations for their CASA volunteers, who act as guardian angels to the children who can no longer live at home because of unsafe conditions. You do not need a master’s degree to become a volunteer CASA, but if you want to work in a leadership role for one of these nonprofit organizations, an advanced degree — such as a Master of Science in Early Childhood Services — can help get you there.
Together, Teachers and Child Advocates Form a Safety and Support Network for Children.
Teachers change lives in the classroom, while a child advocate changes lives in every area of a child’s life. Together, they have a tremendous impact on kids everywhere — of all backgrounds. In fact, child advocates often work with teachers to ensure kids get what they need. Teachers can give valuable insight on behavior, health and progress, which a child advocate can use to protect the best interests of the child.
If you have a master’s degree, you already know the advantages of earning an advanced degree: pay raises, career satisfaction and advancement opportunities. There is one more benefit to a master’s degree in education: the power to improve kids’ lives.