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Advocating For Kids In Los Angeles, Calif.

Melanie Stallings Williams works with CASA. Courtesy of Melanie Stallings Williams hide caption

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Courtesy of Melanie Stallings Williams

Melanie Stallings Williams works with CASA.

Courtesy of Melanie Stallings Williams

I'm a volunteer CASA — court-appointed special advocate for children — in Los Angeles.

Part of our job is staying with children when they go to court. One day I was with a 7-year-old boy who had been removed from his mother's care because of her abusive boyfriend.

We sat in a small waiting room and played Etch-A-Sketch. Eventually, the child's attorney came out and announced that the boy could go home with his mother.

He leaped with joy and hugged me. Earlier, someone had given him two pieces of candy. Solemnly, he handed one of the pieces to me.

Melanie Stallings Williams is chairwoman of the Department of Business Law at California State University, Northridge. She listens to KPCC.