Factors to Consider When Choosing a Child Advocates
The term advocacy refers to supporting a child to enable them to express their own needs and views to assist them in making informed decisions on matters influencing their lives. However, it is worth noting that advocates do not make choices for children, instead, they aim at supporting them to make their own choices. Anyone who understands what a child advocate does and does not involve can qualify to act as an advocate. At times, some parents take on the role of advocates for their children. On the other hand, some may choose their friends to support them. Professionals such as teachers and social workers can also act as an advocate to provide support for children.
If you want to choose an advocate for your child, there are certain things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, you need to figure out why you need an advocate for your child. Before you can start searching for potential advocates, it is a good idea to understand your needs and that of your child. For instance, you may want to ask the problems you are having with your child`s educational experience and how the advocate you are planning to hire will help you solve the problems. For example, you can consider getting an advocate for your child when your child has an IEP then you come to realize that they are not eligible for special education and you are not sure of what to do next.
Now that you know your needs, the next step involves preparing a criteria for your ideal advocate. When searching for the right advocate, there are certain things to look into. The advocate you want to hire needs to be familiar with the local policies on special education. Besides, you need to consider choosing an advocate with a good working relationship with people in the school your child is enrolled. You also need to ask them about the experience they have in providing the services. You may want to ask them the criteria they will use to ensure that your child gets the help they need. Here, you will have to be specific. For instance, you may want to look for an advocate with experience in assisting children with dyslexia to guide them in reading instructions.
Furthermore, you need to prepare a list of potential advocates. You can start by asking for recommendations from friends and relatives of the advocates they have worked with in the past. However, when asking for recommendations, you need to ask the people providing you with the info of the advocates about why they are recommending. It is worth noting that not every advocate is right for you and your child.
After you have contacts of the advocates you need to interview a few advocates before you can decide on the one to work with. It is good to note that it is during interviews where you will get the chance to vet the candidates before you hire one. Therefore, when you pay attention to these tips, you will get the right advocate who will meet your needs and that of your child.