Advocacy: models and effectiveness

Advocacy: models and effectivenessThis briefing draws on evidence in relation to advocacy with both children and adults and on literature from the fields of health and social care.

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Key learning points

  • There is a range of models of advocacy, each with distinctive characteristics relating to type of work undertaken, length of involvement and appropriate person who should undertake the role
  • There is a limited evidence base about the effectiveness of advocacy. This is primarily due to differing definitions and a lack of understanding about the role of advocacy
  • There is some evidence to suggest that the advocacy process promotes increased self-confidence and ensures the voices of people who access services are heard
  • Geographically, the availability of advocacy is varied across Scotland, particularly for specialist forms of advocacy
  • Advocates require a significant set of skills to undertake the role effectively; there is a need for ongoing training and regular supervision to maximise effectiveness

Features of good practice
Common features that are important for an advocate to exhibit include:

  • A calm thoughtful and sensitive disposition
  • The ability to raise relevant issues on behalf of the person in an appropriate and fair manner
  • Good at building relationships with people
  • Provision of support to individual when upset
  • Ensure the person’s views are discussed and incorporated
  • The ability to be succinct, articulate, thorough and offer alternative ways of thinking
  • Facilitate understanding among other professionals of the person’s situation