Concept of advocacy


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FDH 2100

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  • Aim of today’s session is to meet the following learning outcomes and to give you the opportunity to work through some changes which are relevant to you. Exercise 1 Before we start I’d like you to think of a change you would like to introduce into clinical practice – it could be a clinical change or it could the way students are allocated mentors and assessors or off duty. Spend 5 minutes thinking about what change you would like to introduce and why you think the change is required.
  • Concept of advocacy

    1. 1. Concept of Advocacy. David Stonehouse Senior Lecturer
    2. 2. Learning Outcomes <ul><li>By the end of the session we will have: </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the main role of an advocate for children and young people. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the circumstances in children’s and young people’s lives that may require an advocate. </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate how individuals and organisations can empower children. </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>What is it?? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think you should be an advocate? </li></ul>Advocacy
    4. 4. Why advocate? <ul><li>Children are sometimes hopeless because there is no hope, helpless because there is no help and compliant because there is no alternative. Powerlessness is the food they eat, the air they breathe and the beds they sleep in. (Kitzinger,1990:173) </li></ul>
    5. 5. Definition of advocacy <ul><li>Advocates are risk takers who challenge the status quo (Royea and Appl, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Child advocacy is any individual or cooperative action that strives to enrich the lives of children, including challenging injustices and promoting overall welfare (Pithouse and Crowley 2007). </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>Advocacy is speaking up for, or acting on behalf of, yourself or another person. </li></ul><ul><li>(Cambridgeshire County Council, 2008) </li></ul>Advocacy
    7. 7. Advocacy <ul><li>advocate (support)    to publicly support or suggest an idea, development or way of doing something </li></ul><ul><li>advocacy - the act of pleading or arguing in favour of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy; active support. </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>When do children/young people need an advocate? </li></ul>Discussion
    9. 9. <ul><li>How do organisations empower children? </li></ul>Empowering children
    10. 10. <ul><li>Make clear their own views and wishes; </li></ul><ul><li>Express and present their views effectively and faithfully; </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain independent advice and accurate information; </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiate and resolve conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s practitioners are in a very good position to advocate for those living in more disadvantaged circumstances or where there are obvious unmet needs (Blair, 2009) </li></ul>Advocacy can help children/families to:
    11. 11. <ul><li>“ Some people aren’t clear about their rights as citizens, or have difficulty in fully understanding these rights. Others may find it hard to speak up for themselves. Advocacy can enable people to take more responsibility and control for the decisions which affect their lives.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Cambridgeshire County Council, 2008) </li></ul>
    12. 12. KEY PRINCIPLES <ul><li>What the person says and wants is the most important thing. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Advocacy enables individuals to do more for themselves and lessens their dependency on other people. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Advocacy should help people to make informed choices. An advocate must ensure the service user is making real choices based on good quality information. </li></ul>
    13. 13. KEY PRINCIPLES <ul><li>4. Advocates should not have a conflict of interest. So that they can speak up for someone effectively, there must be no other pressures on the advocate. This is why the advocate needs to be independent of the service provider. </li></ul><ul><li>5. People must have choice about the type of advocacy they use. Service users should be able to choose the type of advocacy that suits them best Some service users feel that they need one person who is willing to act on their behalf whereas others will prefer the support of a group. </li></ul><ul><li>(Cambridgeshire County Council, 2008) </li></ul>
    14. 14. U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) <ul><li>All child/young persons advocates should be working towards full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. </li></ul><ul><li>States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child. </li></ul><ul><li>States Parties shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Playwork Principles (Skills Active, 2004) <ul><li>4. For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with adult led agendas. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The role of the playworker is to champion the right of the child to play and question adult agendas.” (Conway, 2008:121) </li></ul>
    16. 16. National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) <ul><li>Is a UK charity providing children's rights and socio-legal services. </li></ul><ul><li>Their mission statement: &quot;To support children, vulnerable adults, parents and carers to be heard through the provision of confidential and independent advice, information and representation” (NYAS, 2011) </li></ul>
    17. 17. Children's Rights Officers & Advocates (CROA) <ul><li>Organisation representing the professional interests of children's rights officers, participation workers and advocates. The association is a vital source of support and advice for practitioners working in the field of children's rights and advocacy in various settings. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Another form of child advocacy <ul><li>This happens at policy level and aims at changing the policies of governments or even transnational organisations. These advocates do lobbying, policy research, file lawsuits and engage in other types of policy change techniques. Many use Internet based techniques to influence decision makers </li></ul>
    19. 19. Challenges <ul><li>New policies and political directions – having a good understanding of these policies etc in order to be able to be a true representative/advocate if necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Increased emphasis on children’s rights – again understanding what these are and the relevance to your practice areas, the children and their families </li></ul><ul><li>Listening to the child’s voice - Are children powerless, do we listen to them? Can we act as an advocate for them? </li></ul>
    20. 20. Challenges <ul><li>Communication skills - Using sensitive, age and culturally appropriate communication to ensure a child’s voice can be heard </li></ul><ul><li>Not to use advocacy in a non-mandated way – ensuring that being an advocate is not being used for a self interest purpose – a moral trump card </li></ul><ul><li>Promote self advocacy – enable children to express their views </li></ul>
    21. 21. Bibliography <ul><li>Blair, M. (2010) Promoting Children’s Health. Paediatrics and Child Health </li></ul><ul><li>Volume 20 , Issue 4, April 2010, Pages 174-178 </li></ul><ul><li>Cambridge County Council (2008) What is Advocacy? (accessed 24th November 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Children's Rights Officers & Advocates (2011) Stronger Working Together. (accesed 24 November 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Conway, M. (2008) ‘The Playwork Principles’ In: Brown, F. & Taylor, C. (eds) Foundations Of Playwork. Berkshire: Open University Press. pp. 119-122. </li></ul><ul><li>Kitzinger, J. (1990) ‘Who Are You Kidding? Children, Power, and the Struggle against Sexual Abuse’, in A. James and A. Prout (eds) Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: </li></ul><ul><li>Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study of Childhood, pp. 157–83. New York: </li></ul><ul><li>The Falmer Press. </li></ul><ul><li>National Youth Advocacy Service (2011) Helping Young People. (accessed 24 November 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Pithouse, A.,Crowley, A. (2007). Adults rule? Children and Early Childhood Education Journal (2009) 37:89–91 </li></ul><ul><li>Royea, A., Appl, A. (2009) Advocacy and complaints to social services. Children and Society , 21, 201–213 </li></ul><ul><li>Skills Active (2004) Playwork Principles. (accessed 24 November 2011) </li></ul>