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Integrating Advocacy into Professional Responsibilities
Child advocacy is the range of people of professionals and organizations who promote the optimum development of children. These individuals or the organizations engaging in advocacy seek protection of children's rights which are abused or broken various areas. Rights of children are categorized into two: negative and positive rights. Negative means rights to be free from while positive are rights to. A child's negative right is violated when a harmful or risky action is taken against him/her.
What do child advocates do?
Child advocates protect the voice of the people whose cries of concerns are not heard. A child's abuse advocate protects the child from harm, and tries to get justice for the already harmed children. He or she also seeks to ensure that the rights of children such as right to education, good health and parental care are implemented. Poor health due to poor feeding is a major harm that children go through. Many children go to bed without eating; this is taken care of by the child care centers.
Another example of a child advocacy is the one that happens at the national policy level. It aims at changing the policies that the government has set so as to influence the implementation of children's rights.
Child advocates can be found in schools, in the community or in the home environment. In addition to this, individual groups can work together to protect the rights of children, and to nurture them. Though we all have a responsibility to advocate on behalf of the children, mothers, fathers, family members and teachers advocate on their behalf to greater extents. In Wales, the national advocacy has been set by the Welsh Assembly Government. They have given out a helpline that allows children to air their views and concerns to the advocates. In addition to this, in Canada we have the eight Canadian provinces with an official child advocate, each with the role of protecting the interests of children in the province. Child advocates are concerned with the young people, and children's needs within the criminal justice. They ensure that the voice of children and young people is heard within the law arenas.
Child Advocacy Centers
Child advocates, whether individuals or groups of people, should be neutral and be situated in safe locations so as to ensure efficient functioning. Multi-disciplinary teams should be made up of officers qualified in law enforcement, and child personnel among others. There are verdicts to those who violate the children's rights, and mostly depending on the degree of violation. An example of child advocacy center is Voices for America's Children, which is actively committed to speaking for the children's well-being. However, one common aspect in all child advocates is that they have respect for children and young people.
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