Ever ask yourself what do Child Advocacy Attorneys do? Children go through all kinds of adversities when they are amidst divorce turmoil, or are being abused or neglected. Child advocate attorneys are also there for the children to uphold their rights in the juvenile court proceedings. These lawyers are usually found working for the state or local office, or for non-profit organizations or they work in independent law firms. A license is only awarded to an attorney after they have earned a Juris Doctor Law Degree.
In addition to the ones mentioned, there is a list of situations in which a child advocate attorney will be appointed by the courts. For instance, proceedings for child custody, adoptions, parental rights termination, and visitation, etc.
A private attorney could be retained by the parents of children who are brought within juvenile court for criminal cases. If not, then a child advocate attorney will be appointed by the court as the law mandates legal representation to be given to juveniles in criminal cases.
The child advocacy attorneys are experts in providing legal representation to the children. They have usually taken some courses on the issues surrounding family and juvenile law. Child advocacy Attorneys can also get certifications as well, as compared to, say, adoption attorneys. Certifications could be had in the domain of child welfare law from National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC).
To be certified attorneys must have been in practice for three years, have spent 30 percent of the past three years working in the field of child welfare, and completed 36 hours or more of continuing legal education courses in child welfare law. They must also demonstrate written proficiency and legal knowledge in this specialized area.
Responsibilities of Child Advocacy Attorneys
The responsibilities of Child advocacy attorneys are inclusive of conducting investigations surrounding the issues; contributing their presence to all the court proceedings and negotiations; acquiring pertinent documentations as regards the children and their parents; requesting and receiving for all court documents including the hearing; presenting supportive evidence; presenting the child’s wishes to the court after ascertaining them; collecting payments for child’s support; recommending the courts and they should be well-versed in Special education and juvenile courts.
A child advocacy attorney will seek to coordinate with the community agencies to provide treatment programs and any form of assistance to the children who are afflicted with alcohol abuse or other psychological issues. This coordination could be quite effective in juvenile court proceedings. The circumstances in which the criminal charges arise are also assessed by the child advocacy attorneys and based on that assessment, they recommend the courts on how they could end up in an adequate verdict.
There are some child advocacy attorneys who have expertise in handling the cases pertaining to children with special needs; they make sure that they represent and uphold the rights of these children, for instance, in their schools. They deal with the issues concerning the services being provided by their schools and the way they are treated and if any counseling is needed on their part. Child advocacy attorneys are also found counseling the parents and their children as regards their legal rights and the resources they could access to get through the legal proceeding.
On a higher level of obligation, child advocacy attorneys conduct research into the legal realm and come up with proposals for reforms in case they have found ways to improve upon the protection of children’s rights. Reforms are a constant need because, at present, there are various issues surrounding the juvenile justice system and the student rights.
Child advocacy attorneys are a good resource for providing better protection to the rights of the children. They are there to protect the rights and interest of children in the courtroom. These attorneys are utilized at state level to ensure the child welfare in their states.