Advocates, mediators, and lobbyists all play an important role in the field of human services. Even though these roles may be separated by the services they provide, in reality, they are closely linked in that they all work to help others. This paper will describe the roles of each entity using personal interviews and research. The essay will also examine how each role works separately but also work hand in hand to help clients.
AdvocatesAccording to Barsky "an advocate is a person who acts in support of an interested party during negotiation, litigation, or another conflict resolution process" ((Barsky, 2007, p. 5).
Advocates speak for individuals or groups of people who can not fight or peak up for themselves such as the homeless, children, or the mentally and physically disabled. In addition to speaking for others, an advocate can also empower clients to speak or act for themselves.
Interviews were conducted by Team A members with professionals working as advocates in different areas in the human services field.
The following are summaries of those interviews.
Rebecca Gale is a MSW therapist with The Women's Crisis and Family Outreach Center. Rebecca worked as a legal advocate for domestic violence victims. Juan Jimenez is a youth counselor with the Copper Hills Youth Residential Center working with adolescents, ages 12-17. Betty Nuener is a volunteer with CASA, an organization that advocates for children in the court system. Denise Rodriquez is an advocate at Planned Parenthood working with women, men, and teens that need information on sex education and or reproductive care.
All the advocates enjoy the work they do and find advocacy rewarding in different ways. Rebecca Gale states "The most rewarding thing is to see a client make positive changes in their life. This doesn't always mean that he/she leaves an abusive...