Child advocacy refers to the promotion and protection of children’s rights. Child advocates include professionals, parents, teachers, organizations, and other community members who work tirelessly to support children who’ve experienced abuse or neglect. Qualified advocates may provide counseling to children and their families as well as seek out legal justice for victims.
If you are interested in becoming a child advocate or providing mental health services to endangered children, you first need to complete the proper level of education and training. One of the most direct educational routes is earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a specialization in child advocacy. This program provides a comprehensive introduction to psychology and victimology, while emphasizing the critical issues in child advocacy. Some common courses may include child psychology, research methods in applied psychology, abnormal psychology, introduction to child advocacy, and professional and ethical issues.
Graduates of this undergraduate psychology program may be eligible to work as child advocate social workers, youth counselors, victim advocates, child development specialists, or child welfare specialists. Those who want to provide therapy services to victims or hold upper-level positions within an advocacy center can expand their knowledge and skills in graduate school.