Home Forums Class 11 Advocating for Adolescents vs. Younger Children

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  • #5280 Reply

    Write what you think makes advocating for an adolescent different from working with a younger child. Describe how you might approach an adolescent case differently than a younger child case?

    #5689 Reply
    Judith McGuinness

    Advocating for an adolescent compared to a younger child is different in that an adolescent may understand more and be able to voice their opinions and concerns better than a younger child. They should be more cognitively developed, although that might not be the case.

    #5709 Reply
    Anastasia Warden

    There seems to be some heavy lifting associated with an adolescent case that won’t be required for a younger child that is likely to be adopted. An adolescent in the system needs a lot of support transitioning to adulthood. However, this support must be done in a manner that acknowledges the adolescent as the driver for their future. Hopefully, their “self” is well established. The adolescent should have a strong sense of their strengths and also some sense of what they would like their life to look like — what work sector do they feel they are suited to? As a CASA in this sort of case, the biggest help that I could provide is getting the adolescent in contact with the correct programs and services. If the adolescent is still unsure (and this is likely if they have been in the system for a long time – mentors / parental figures may have come in and out of their lives leaving them with half-finished plans) it would probably be useful to help the adolescent create a vision board (or whatever like it the adolescent will tolerate!) It will also be very important to acknowledge that the adolescent is almost an adult and as such the CASA acts more as a facilitator and less as an authority figure.

    #5712 Reply
    Suzanne Doll

    Younger children need someone to be their voice and advocate for them. Adolescents need to learn to advocate for themselves and need support and guidance as they move towards independence. When working with an adolescent, I would be more aware of resources and services that might benefit that child in terms of their future goals. I would listen, lend support and help guide the adolescent to make decisions that are consistent with their life/career goals and expectations. I would also remain nonjudgmental as adolescence is a time when mistakes are made, but would help ensure an adolescent can learn from their mistakes.

    #5723 Reply
    Shama Thakkar

    Adolescents are little more set in their ways because they have more history, whereas younger children don’t have as many experiences due to their age. I would tailor my approach with adolescents and younger children not based on their age group and where they should be psychologically by that point, but what their needs are. Some adolescents might have more of a younger child mindset based on trauma, and some younger children may have had to play caretaker at such a young age to their parents so they have more of an adolescent mindset.

    #5727 Reply
    Cathy Skinner

    Adolescents are much more complex because they have had a longer cycle of abuse/neglect. With an adolescent child, i think it would take much more conversation and trust-building to ensure they know you are in their corner. As for younger children , i think just using a gentle approach -and being on their “level” works wonders.

    #5734 Reply
    Mindy Felixbrod

    Adolescents need to be approached directly as they have to begin to understand and have input into their futures. Younger children need to be interpreted more as they don’t understand the world as much and have no idea of the Far future- they need peace and safety in order to project beyond their immediate needs Adolescents can be given other places and programs for their support ( I would help, of course) but younger kids need to advocated for since their behaviors are their communication signals for what they don’t know they want or need.

    #5737 Reply
    Peter Manuel

    Clearly the role of the CASA can be very different. Adolescents can be more articulate and self-aware, and may well be the single most important source of information on which the CASA might make recommendations. However, as we have learned, they may also be manipulative, jaded, skeptical, or even indifferent to the CASA. Ideally the adolescent regards the CASA with trust and respect, and the CASA is attentive to the child while not making false promises, being misled or taken advantage of.

    #5751 Reply
    Fran Waller Robertson

    Depending on MANY Factors:
    A younger child needs someone to “be there” for them To be sure that they are in a safe places with people that will care for them and supply their physical and emotional needs.

    I believe the Adolescent needs to be “HEARD”. They probably do not want to be coddled but listened to. I have this poem that I keep on the wall right by by phone/computer. The title is “LISTEN” It basic says that I ask you to listen.It says to just listen not give advice, tell me how to feel, tell me what to do etc. I love it and try hard to follow. (Yes sometimes I do need to bite my tongue to keep quiet and LISTEN)

    #5754 Reply
    Amy Aynedjian

    The differences between an adolescent case and a younger child are many. An adolescent knows where they want to live and with whom.
    They have opinions and want
    to be in charge of their permanent placement. Adolescents also know how to manipulate and pit people against each other.

    #5758 Reply
    Alondra Palacios

    Adolescents are at the age where they are coming into their own skin and identity. They can be rebellious and more vocal with their thoughts and feelings. Younger children express themselves a little bit more differently because they are less developed than an adolescent. I would tread lightly on the case so I can get a better understanding on how to better approach the child or adolescent. Once I get a better insight on how to approach them I would try to get their trust by making a connection whether its a TV show, sports, etc. I have younger cousins and have taken care of them since they were babies to now them being adolescents. I have definitely taken different approaches when I talk and connect to them now vs when they were younger children.

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