CAC volunteer advocates use a strength-based approach. This approach concentrates on the inherent strengths of individuals, families, groups and organizations, deploying personal strengths to aid recovery and empowerment. In essence, to focus on health and well-being is to embrace an asset-based approach where the goal is to promote the positive.
This type of approach builds a child or family on their strengths, specifically seeing them as resourceful and resilient when they are in adverse conditions. The strength-based approach allows for a person to see themselves at their best, in order to see the value they bring, by just being them. Then moving that value forward to capitalize on their strengths rather than focusing on negative aspects.
Five Key Functions of a Volunteer Child Advocate
Relationship-building: You work to build trusting relationships – with the child; as well as with others involved in the case – with an awareness of bias, cultural humility and appropriate boundaries.
Information Gathering: You carry out an objective examination of the situation, including relevant history, environment, relationships and needs of the child.
Facilitation: You identify resources and services for the child and facilitate a collaborative relationship between all the parties involved, helping to create a situation in which the child’s needs can be met.
Advocacy: You speak up for the child by making recommendations regarding the child’s best interests. In a court case, these recommendations are part of a written court report.
Monitoring: You keep track of whether the plans of service providers, school personnel, court orders or services provided by Department of Children and Families are carried out and work to ensure that timely services are provided.