Advocacy in Practice?
Advocacy is not about acting in what is perceived to be
the person’s best interest, but is about standing with a person
to ensure they are able to say and try to get what they want and
Advocacy is part of everyday life. At some point in our lives most
of us will have needed the support of someone we trust to help us
speak up for ourselves.
Some people find that advocacy helps when they feel they are not
being listened to, or are not getting what they need and would like
some support. Anyone may need advocacy at some time in his or her
life, but it becomes especially relevant where:
- People are being treated unfairly as a result of other people’s
prejudices, or their own vulnerability, or both.
- People feel they have no family, friends or anyone in the wider
community whom they can turn to for support.
- Family and/or friends may be part of the problem.
- People may have professional paid workers involved in their
lives who are not providing services which take into account their
needs and/or requirements.
Advocacy is a relationship between the person, group or organisation
providing advocacy - the advocate, and the person who is being supported
- the partner. A lot of advocacy schemes are reluctant to refer
to individuals they work with as clients or service users believing
them to be terms used by providers of services, often with negative
connotations for those that have accessed them.