What Is the Role of an Advocate in Social Work?

The roles of advocates in social work include lobbying, organizing and helping to create positive change for their charges as well as individuals who are disenfranchised or vulnerable. A social work advocate might also arrange a sit-in, protest or use the Internet to advance his goal.

When advocating through the Internet, social workers write op-ed pieces and get in touch with editors in order to help the public understand how social programs work and clarify false information. They also inform readers about wrongdoings they might not be aware of.

Utilizing community organization as a method of advocacy involves supervising the organization of public activities that raise awareness about social injustices. Social workers also help enhance public services and grassroots movements.

When advocating for citizens through public demonstrations, social workers help members of the public fight for change and make the media and the community aware of some of the misdeeds taking place on the local level that they might not be aware of. Social workers also work to improve legislation on such matters as protecting Social Security recipients.

Besides advocacy, there are several additional roles often occupied by social workers. Such roles include broker agent, community change agent, counselor, researcher and mediator. Social workers often learn how to fulfill these roles while earning a degree.