What is Advocacy?
- safeguards people who are vulnerable or whom services find difficult to serve
- empowers people who need a stronger voice by enabling them to express their own needs and make their own decisions
- enables people to gain access to information, explore and understand their options and to make their views and wishes known
- speaks up on behalf of people who are unable to do so for themselves, or who choose not to do so. This is different from legal advocacy where an individual is represented by a legal professional.
There are many different types of advocacy and these are briefly described in Appendix 2.
The accepted and commonly used term for a person who uses advocacy is 'advocacy partner'. The Scottish advocacy movement has used this term for a number of years. It conveys a message about the equality of the relationship between the advocacy partner and the advocate and the fact that the relationship should be a partnership. In the context of advocacy for carers, many organisations will simply use the term 'carer'. Throughout this document the terms 'carers' and 'advocacy partner' are both used where appropriate.
Email: Peggy Winford
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