I Speak for This Child: The True Stories of a Child Advocate

I Speak for This Child: The True Stories of a Child Advocate

by Gay Courter
     
 
This is the true story of Gay Courter's experiences as a court-appointed guardian for children—of her first tentative approach to her local program after learning about it in a Parade magazine cover story, of learning the duties and responsibilities of her position, and of her efforts to ensure that, at least in the cases assigned to her, American's most

Overview

This is the true story of Gay Courter's experiences as a court-appointed guardian for children—of her first tentative approach to her local program after learning about it in a Parade magazine cover story, of learning the duties and responsibilities of her position, and of her efforts to ensure that, at least in the cases assigned to her, American's most vulnerable citizens are treated with care and respect.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
How Gay Courter (The Midwife) became a guardian ad litem, a court-appointed advocate for children caught up in the Florida justice system, is detailed with almost Dickensian touches of abuse and familial neglect in the lives of her charges. A serendipitous event led Courter to volunteer for this relatively new position in American justice. Inexperienced in the ways of the courts but fired with idealism and courage, Courter embarked on a mission to right wrongs for victimized children who fell between the cracks of foster care and the law. Here we follow her unflagging efforts to win the trust of her understandably wary clients, tireless travels through the maze of guardianship and, in one case, a hard-won victory in dismissal. No happy endings here: ``most of them are in flux,'' reports Courter, whose heartwarming interventions should inspire others to volunteer in state judicial systems. Author tour. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Since 1989, novelist Courter (The Midwife's Advice, LJ 9/1/92) has served as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem, a court-appointed guardian for children involved in custody battles or child abuse cases. She has worked on more than a dozen cases, privy to the children's wishes as she challenged state agencies, caseworkers, foster parents, and courts to seek her charges' "best interests." This book offers to the public her unique, insider's view of child advocacy in America. Through engaging and true stories of several children with abusive parents, Courter suggests that a child's primary need is "a permanent, safe, nurturing environment." She views the legal, bureaucratic, and emotional issues involved through the eyes of the children, vividly recounting their tumultuous placements in foster homes, humiliating court cases, heartbreaking separation from parents, and personal conversations. Her book will interest all who are concerned with the social health of American communities and will be particularly useful to students of law, public administration, and social work.-Cedar Carlton, New York
Denise Perry Donavin
The child advocate program in state judicial systems is a relatively new one and not administered exactly the same in every state. Courter explains the goals of the program: generally, they are to enlist an adult to champion a child's cause in court, to dig into records to support his or her case, and to ask probing questions of officials for the child's welfare. Drawing from her own experience as a guardian ad litem in Florida, Courter writes about the children she aids, bringing this whole process, its failures and successes, into focus. Moving testimony, certain to inspire others to follow her example and make a difference.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780517595411
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/24/1995
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
387
Product dimensions:
6.39(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.36(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >