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What Is Advocacy

Advocacy In Practice

Types of Advocacy

The Role of an Advocate

Why Do People Need Advocates

Principles of Sandwell Advocacy

Why Do People Need Advocates?

In general those who run/deliver services and/or in positions of authority are not often very good at listening and responding to disadvantaged or vulnerable people. In this situation some people find it difficult to speak for themselves or comment on their care or services when they are in a distressed or vulnerable condition – this can be an isolating and frightening experience. Information is power – lack of access to information is a disempowering process. People often need an impartial individual to speak on their behalf and give them guidance, friendship and support. This can help people make choices and take control of their own lives – this is empowerment.

In some instances those who provide services take on the role of supporting and representing their users, often to a very limited degree. In this case many service providers are often reluctant to speak up for those they serve due to fear of job security, endangering promotion opportunities, loyalty to the organisation over the person etc. Therefore they may not make the best advocates/representatives – this is a conflict of interest.

Someone who is independent and outside of the service-providing agency therefore best fills this role. In this way they are not faced with the same potential conflict of interest and can ensure their loyalty is solely to the person for whom they are advocating.

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