Different Types of Advocacy
It is important to be clear about the different types as
well as definitions of advocacy. The main types of advocacy are:
A one to one partnership between two people. The Citizen
Advocate is a volunteer who usually forms a long term relationship
with their partner and takes a personal interest in ensuring that
their partners interests are effectively represented. The relationship
is based on trust, commitment and loyalty. There is an element of
emotional support and friendship as well as a social element, which
may involve introducing the partner to new experiences and/or activities.
Independent (Issue-based) Advocacy:
Can also be called crisis or case advocacy. A one to one
partnership between two people, often provided by paid advocates.
Independent advocacy shares the same principles as Citizen Advocacy,
but is usually a short-term, one-off involvement, dealing with a
specific issue in a persons life. The relationship is normally time
limited, but may last for several months. When this has been done
the advocacy partnership is terminated until it is required again.
Seen by many in the advocacy movement to be the most ideal
form of advocacy, and one which all other types of advocacy should
be aiming to work towards. People speaking out for themselves to
express their own needs and representing their own interests. Often
people with some form of disability may have received some support
in achieving self-advocacy – this is a model employed by People
First – a group run by people with learning disabilities for
people with learning disabilities.
Where people come together to represent shared interests
or goals and works by offering mutual support, skill development
and a common call for change with the intention of developing or
Support from advocates who themselves have experience of
using particular services such as mental health or learning disabilities
services. Can involve people speaking up for those who cannot do
so themselves and may link with group advocacy.
Representation by legally qualified advocates, usually
barristers or solicitors.
Representation by members of services involved in a person’s
life, for example social workers or health workers. Whilst this
is an important form of advocacy, most independent advocacy agencies
would stress the limitations of this type of advocacy and recognise
the potential conflict of interest that may arise out of professionals
advocating on their service users behalf.
Where there is a statutory duty to provide advocacy following government legislation such as Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) and Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA).
Family and Friend advocacy:
Where a person’s family member or members or friend(s)
play a part in advocating on their behalf. Most of us will have
used or provided this support at some time in our lives whether
we realised it or not.
THERE ARE CLEAR LINKS BETWEEN MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF ADVOCACY & THERE CAN BE A PLACE FOR MORE THAN ONE IN A PERSONS LIFE DEPENDING
ON WHAT SHE OR HE WANTS OR NEEDS.