Child Advocates are trained volunteers appointed by the courts to champion children who have been removed from their parents' home because of allegations of abuse and/or neglect.
These kids range in age from toddlers to teens about to "age out" of the system and they are placed in any number of caretaking locations: in group homes, in foster care, in orphanages, in special treatment facilities. Each has his or her own unique history, personality, etc. - but I haven't met a child in a CPS case yet that wasn't scared, worried, and in need of loving support.
Child Advocates visit the kids, building rapport and relationship, bonding with them. They also attend meetings with the attorneys, case workers, therapists, parents, and the like - and they appear in court at the counsel table (here in Bexar County, CASA volunteers set in the chair next to the child's attorney(s)), giving their own reports and recommendations to the judge.
It is a proactive, important job and there aren't enough people taking on this responsibility. A good Child Advocate can really change a kid's life -- I've seen it happen on more than one occasion. Child Advocates make a difference.
I think that some of the readers here on Backseat Lawyer have left comments that suggest they would be great Child Advocates -- and that they might just be interested in getting involved. If so, I leave these links with you for more information and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions:
CASA - San Antonio