Q:

What is the role of an advocate?

A:

Quick Answer

The role of an advocate is to assist a person in meeting her needs and objectives and to help others see the represented person's point of view. An advocate acts in the best interests of the person he represents, according to the Maricopa County Public Fiduciary.

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Full Answer

The role of an advocate might include identifying and obtaining appropriate housing for a person. The advocate might assist a person with special needs to obtain financial aid or social services. He might look for appropriate medical care for a person who can't find needed care on her own, according to the Maricopa County Public Fiduciary.

If the represented person is a child, the advocate needs to make sure that the child receives an appropriate education. This includes providing the child learning opportunities that allow her to develop marketable skills, according to the Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. Similarly, if the represented party lives with disabilities, the advocate should make sure that the person receives services and financial benefits that the law makes available.

When appropriate, the advocate should keep information confidential, according to The Advocates for Human Rights. In most cases, the advocate should allow the represented person to make his own decisions to the extent that he is able. An advocate should help the represented person face challenges without feeling overwhelmed. An advocate should see that the represented person lives free from abuse and neglect. If safety poses an issue for the represented party, the advocate should work to help the represented person realize changes that provide him a safe living environment.

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