August 03, 2015
Being a Child Advocate Before you become a Human Service Professional, it is important to understand exactly what that means. So I have spent the day with a Child Advocate Specialist to give you a clear idea of what a Child Advocates typical day looks like. I took my time and ask the specialist a few questions to help you understand, just what you are getting yourself into! Below I have summarized the interview for you as an essay. You can find the following questions as well as the specialist responses to the questions. List the name and title of the interview. Describe a typical day in the life of this person, describe the populations served by this person. Describe what motivated this individual to become involved in human services. Identify the obstacles and controversial issues this person faces in his or her work. Describe what you liked and disliked about this person’s human services role. I hope this interview helps you to better understand, what being a Child Advocate means. Let’s meet Deairah Mast (Child Advocate) To describe with you a typical day in the life of a Child Advocate Specialist I spent a few hours with Deairah Mast. Deairah currently works for the State of Michigan’s Department of Human Services as a Child Advocate/Case Worker. The main focus of Deairah’s job is to speak on behalf of children in court. Deairah’s has a real challenging job, since she also works as a case worker for children. As a case worker Deairah’s main focus is to meet the needs of the parents for the children she represents. (Deairah Mast, Child Advocate, Department of Human Services, August 3, 2015).
A Typical Day for Deairah After spending a few hours with Deairah, this is what I found her day to Intel: Deairah’s day began at 8:30 promptly. As Deairah got to her desk she began checking her emails and voicemails. Once she checked her mailboxes she then began to return the urgent messages first. I noticed Deairah making notes as she spoke on the phone with clients. I asked Deairah, what were the notes for? Deairah begin to explain to me the client she was speaking with was in need of shelter for her children. The client’s children had just been returned to her and her home caught fire the night before. So Deairah was making a list of the major items needed for her client to get back on her feet. (Deairah Mast, Child Advocate, Department of Human Services, August 3, 2015). After Deairah was done returning phone calls she then prepared her documents to bring into court for another client she represented. At this time it was 10:30. Deairah had a court appearance at 11:00. As Deairah prepared for court she allowed me to take lunch, because all cases are confidential and I was not going to be able to attend court with her. I returned from lunch at 12:00 and waited as court was not adjourned yet. Around 12:30 Deairah returned from court. She then explained to me she had three in house visits she had to check up on behalf of her clients. Deairah explained to me she would then drive to the homes and grab lunch in between visits. I then decided I would wrap up by asking her the rest of the questions as she drove me back to my car.
(Deairah Mast, Child Advocate, Department of Human Services, August 3, 2015).
What Population Does a Child Advocate Serve? A Child Advocate Specialist serves children in the foster care system under the age of 18. Once a child is placed in the foster care system the Child Advocate Specialist is assigned to them. The Specialist must then address the urgent needs first. The most urgent need for the child will be shelter. It is then the Specialists responsibility to place the child in a suitable environment until the parent or parents can fix whatever problem that caused them to lose the child or children. General, a judge will order the parent(s) to attend parenting classes, depending