IntroductionAdvocates, mediators, and lobbyists are all essential professional roles within the world of human services. Their roles are all unique and yet, intricately intertwined. In many instances, one could not truly exist without the other. The following paper seeks to define the roles of each and highlight the rewards and struggles of them. It uses personal commentary from interviews of professionals within each role, as well as other research gathered. It will also examine the roles' impact on the other's, compare and contrast them all, and explore how they can all co exist when funding and resources can unfortunately, and yet quite often, be scarce.
AdvocacyAdvocacy, according to Merriam-Webster, is " the act of advocating or supporting a cause or proposal" Advocate is defined as, "one who pleads, maintains, defends, supports, or promotes the cause of another" (Merriam-Webster, 2009). Advocacy has historically always served as a tool to promote social justice and has been a highly recognized role within social services and human services.
(Patti, 2008) Advocates within the field of human services can vary but are a very vital role. Many of the variances depend on the population the advocate is serving and if the advocate is working on behalf of the client or working to empower the client to act for themselves. Three interviews were given with professionals working in this field. There were some very definite similarities as well differences discovered.
Angie Bell, the clinical director at Empowerment Therapy Center in Colorado Springs, serves as an advocate for domestic violence victims as advocacy relates to court cases and DHS. Suzanne Aubry is the Director of Family Services and Support in the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs for the San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. She primarily works with families in the advocate role, who...