Advocacy is the primary role of the case manager in human service settings, and is essential for service to be provided accurately. Having the skills, knowledge, and competence in what advocacy is and how to use it effectively is essential for success and achieving the desired outcome for both the client and provider. This paper will define advocacy as well as discuss various types that will be beneficial to different populations of clients and service settings. This paper will also describe issues that may be encountered while using the types of advocacy.
Advocacy is a process to protect the rights or to change discriminatory or abusive treatment to the vulnerable. The basis of advocacy is to promote fair, equal, and humane treatment (Washington Protection and Advocacy System (WPAS)). Being able to problem solve with advocacy helps to improve services or gain eligibility status to meet the needs of an individual.
Advocacy helps to remove barriers that prevent many populations such as the elderly, very young, physically disabled, or the mentally challenged (Rothman, J, Sager J.).
In order to be an effective advocate a person must recognize his or her own preferences and biases (WPAS). When a case manager has not done this the chances are his or her positions will reflect their attitude and interfere with the choices for the clients whom they advocate. Each advocate has their own "style" that has developed over time according to their past experiences and personality. Each of us has our comfort zones and different approaches to problem-solving.
To be effective an advocate must listen and evaluate information objectively (WPAS). The advocate's belief in the potential for a positive change affects how they approach and interpret different situations. Independent judgment needs to be exercised in order to credibly advocate for others. Effective communication skills...