Home Forums Class 8 Educational Advocacy

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  • #5262 Reply

    What do you think of when you hear the term “educational advocacy”? Who would you plan to talk to on your case? What information do you need to access in order to write your Education section of your court report?

    #5580 Reply
    Suzanne Doll

    An educational advocate is a strong advocate for a child/adolescent within the educational system, knows education laws and/or how to access the laws, will contact school staff for information and attend important school meetings. The advocate will keep the child’s educational needs in mind and will be able to address issues or concerns with the school/school district, bio family/resource family and other service providers and caseworkers if necessary.
    When on a case, I would speak to anyone involved with the child’s education directly or indirectly including teachers, Guidance Counselors, School social worker/psychologist, members of the Child Study/CSE team, school nurse, support staff and administration, depending on the situation. I would need information regarding the child’s academic performance (grades/test scores/GPA etc), attendance (late/sick), and behavioral concerns (disciplinary actions) as well as the child’s adjustment to the school environment to include in my report. I would also try to attend or request IEP’s or a copy of any educational evals completed, including a psychological eval if completed by the school.

    #5585 Reply
    Judith McGuinness

    When I hear the term “educational advocacy” I think of fighting to get an individual the education they deserve. On a case, this could mean speaking with a child’s teacher, guidance counselor, school psychologist, school nurse, dean of students or vice-principal (those who handle the discipline within the school). I would like to find out about a child’s grades, including any developmental assessments, their adjustments in school, including absenteeism, their disciplinary record, any medical or psychological assessment done at the school.

    #5587 Reply
    Peter Manuel

    It’s hard to improve on the comments by Suzanne and Judith, but I suppose ‘educational advocacy’ is an example of how the CASA’s most overt role may be to gather information, but that information is ideally to be used to make a productive and informed recommendation, which may be acted upon. The CASDA as an ‘educational advocate’ can communicate with various parties, such as those listed above, who are not necessarily in touch with each other, and make realistic suggestions for addressing the child’s educational needs. Knowledge of the system is essential.

    #5588 Reply
    Fran Waller Robertson

    An educational Advocacy is an individual that knows all the ins and outs of the educational system. Hopefully it is an individual who is very familiar with the child/children’s school district. Laws and resource services of that exact district. Has some back ground on the child’s history of school as well as their psychological capabilities. School history as far as academics and socialization and activities up to current and maybe some knowledge of the child’s desires. Much of this depends on the age of the youth. A very large part of children’s lives are spent in the school building and with the staff.

    #5589 Reply
    Anastasia Warden

    While I am not certain how much of the case notes we have been given has been fabricated, I have been struck by how often it seems this piece of the child’s life is less monitored / valued? I would consider it a major job of mine as a CASA (separate from an assigned education advocate which I understand to be a whole separate individual) to ensure that the child has the correct class placement, the resources (crayons, laptop etc…) needed to ensure the child begins on a level playing field, and any evaluations required should there seem to be a significant disparity between the child’s competency level and national / state standards. In addition, I would want to collect data from teachers, any school counselors, the school nurse and possibly the principal depending on the size of the school. What are the rules / policies of this school? Will previous experiences of the child make it difficult for them to be compliant? If the school is new to the child, what steps have been taken to engage the child with other children? I would also hope to get a sense of what the child’s strengths may be from the education professionals — is he a particularly good artist? is she a particularly fierce competitor? Does he do better with closed-ended or open-ended assignments? This information could help me come up with recommendations for programs / strategies that help support the child.

    To write the education section of the report, I would need to collect data regarding the child’s social and academic performance at the school. Any IEPs or disciplinary issues should be mentioned. Is the child attending regularly? Do they seem ready (fed, clean, awake) for the school day in general?

    #5590 Reply
    Alondra Palacios

    When I hear “educational advocacy” I think of support for educational needs or rights. I would speak to anyone that is involved with the child’s education like the teachers and guidance counselor. I would need access to the child’s school and medical records to be able to write the education section on a court report. I would like access to a psych evaluation to see the child’s needs.

    #5595 Reply
    mindy felixbrod

    Both of my daughters had accommodations in school. The oldest was tested and qualified in high school with the help of her guidance counselor and the main case manager at school and was given an IEP. Once that was accomplished she was also given a lot of leniency in seeing her guidance counselor as needed throughout the year. It was very helpful and it followed her into college. The other simply held a team meeting with her teachers in high school and asked for even playing fields. She self advocated for extra time due to reading comprehension and was well received by her teachers and given the accommodation which also followed her into college. These examples taught me how to advocate for education and I realize it should have been much earlier in order to change the trajectory. Without informing the school and teachers, there can be huge misunderstandings. I would hope and have found that they are cooperative and helpful when asked and they have something to offer. Grades, medical history and background would all facilitate the process.

    #5598 Reply
    Amy Aynedjian

    Educational Advocacy is very important to the children we serve. Their lives are in upheaval yet they should have an on track schooling career.
    They may have started school later in life Which can cause social anxiety and parents of peers to fear the older child in the grade making them social outcasts. As a CASA I WOULD visit the school where my child attends and request a meeting with the teacher(s) depending on their grade and I would ask for the child’s assessment history in all subjects. I have a little bit of experience in this as one of my children at the library needed the summer packet from school and Mom Because of language barriers wasn’t getting anywhere.
    I emailed his teachers because as the town librarian I had built a relationship with the school. They were quick to respond and emailed me the summer packet in its entirety. We also asked how he could receive extra help in reading comprehension skills since that was his shortfall. One of the teachers offered her services for two days a week of help at the library as she is paid through the summer months to help get students up to grade level.
    He met with her twice a week and with me to do the assigned homework . As a team, we felt he progressed from below average to average and ready to begin 7th grade.
    Educational advocacy is helping the child at whatever age/grade they need to get the education they deserve based on their level of competency. We should make sure our children are on the proper track whether they need an IEP or need to be challenged because they are in classes below their skill level. Many children in foster care system enter school at a later age so they are older than their peers I can sense this would cause problems as they mature and realize they are “old enough “ to make their own education choices that are much to their detriment. We can fill the gap and encourage them to remain on Track and graduate from high school in their own time !

    #5599 Reply
    Cathy Skinner

    To me, educational advocacy means exactly that-advocating for the child in their school district. Obviously we need to develop a relationship and obtain knowledge about the child’s strengths and weaknesses. I’d begin with getting to know the child, then move on to the teachers, the guidance counselors, the principal and the educational specialists. As a parent-one of the most important lessons I taught my kids when it came to their education was to “advocate for yourself”. I was like a broken record. Fortunately for them, I was able to start that process for them when they were too young to do it for themselves. They slowly learned how to make this their own mission. Unfortunately, it seems many of the CASA kids are “left behind”. I believe it would be my job to see that the child is getting all of the accommodations and resources they need. It’s invaluable- as i believe education can change these kids futures .

    #5629 Reply
    Shama Thakkar

    Educational advocacy for me means that the child has a right to education and educational resources. So, for example, if the child is unable to afford books, there would have to be a way to obtain the necessary resources for the child. Additionally, educational advocacy could mean resources for all of the people involved in the child’s life to obtain knowledge about how to properly be there for the child.

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