Types of Advocacy

This is when a person speaks up for themselves. This can be in a variety of settings such as a person making a complaint about the attitude and reception they received from a member of bank staff, a patient demanding a second opinion, someone complaining about poor hotel service, to someone independently voicing their own concerns, beliefs, values and wishes at a social work review meeting.

This type of advocacy involves a person who is a member of a group who has been elected by group members to speak up for the interests of the rest of the group. These groups may be made up of people who share a common issue such as a disability. An example of Peer Advocacy would be someone who is a member of a disability group speaking to an Member of the Scottish Parliament about lack of disability access to public buildings in their local community on behalf of the rest of the group.

This type of advocacy involves advocating for people during moments of crisis or short term stressful situations. An example of Crisis Advocacy would be advocating for someone when the bailiffs are coming round to that someone’s home, assist someone at a benefits tribunal or assist someone who has been threatened with eviction.

Many people advocate as part of their professional role. Examples of professionals who provide advocacy as part of their role are: doctors, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, lawyers, however, there are times where these professionals cannot provide advocacy as it can conflict with their professional interests.

Citizen advocates are volunteer advocates that are independent of the services they are dealing with as well as having no conflicts of interest that could affect the partnership between advocate and client.