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February 2024 Advocate Spotlight: Audrey Blythe

We invite you to meet Audrey Blythe, nominated by her Case Supervisors, Erica Avedikian and Kristy O’Neal. Audrey has been an outstanding Advocate since 2017!

Advocate Audrey Blythe

We asked Audrey to share her experience as an Advocate.

Is there anything unique about your background that contributes to your approach to advocacy?

I have a Bachelor of Arts in education with an emphasis on early childhood. My career has included early childhood education and social work. I previously worked for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Seeing the perspectives from both the department and the family is beneficial as an Advocate.

How did you become interested in volunteering as an Advocate?

When I left my position with DFPS, Child Advocates became the perfect landing spot to continue my passion for child advocacy work.

Did you have any reservations about volunteering?

The only reservation was time availability, but that has not been an issue as everyone with Child Advocates is so helpful.

Explain in your own words the work you do as a volunteer Advocate. Why is it essential for a child in foster care?

I view my role as an Advocate to be an additional set of eyes on a case to help determine the child’s best interest. As an Advocate, I can be the consistent presence with the child even if caseworkers change while the case is ongoing.

What has surprised you most about your advocacy work?

The most surprising aspect of advocacy is how it’s so bittersweet when a case ends. I’m glad for the permanency for the child, yet I miss the regular interaction of the Advocate/child relationship.

What has been the most difficult aspect of being an advocate? Most rewarding?

The most difficult aspect is seeing the trauma these children experience. The most rewarding is seeing a child get placed in a loving home that offers stability and trust whether that’s with family or an unrelated caregiver.

What would you like the community to know about children involved in the child welfare system?

Children in care are resilient and just want the opportunity to be loved and cared for in a stable environment. They need Advocates who will amplify their voice to help see that they get that opportunity.

What have you learned about children in care? How has it changed your perspective on the child welfare system?

Family relationships are so important for children in care. They need connections with their families if they can have them in a healthy manner. Other than safety, connections with family should be priority.

Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out for you?

I had a case with a child in care who experienced a tremendous loss during the case, and it was starting to look as if a safe reunification with any family members was not going to be an option. However, we located an extended family member who adopted the child. To see this child begin to thrive and watch this relationship flourish was such a precious result of what began as a heartbreaking situation.

Anything else you want to share about Child Advocates of Montgomery County?

Advocates are always needed for children in care. Please consider being the person who amplifies a child’s voice in their time of need.

change a CHILD’s story today. impact our community forever.

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