Level 4

Advocacy Information

Definition of Advocacy in Social Work

Advocacy is defined as a fundamental concept in social work where a practitioner undertakes to represent an individual, local or national group with the intent to positively influence an outcome within the social work context, i.e. specific actions that change something from what it is to – what is wanted.

The initial decision of the social worker is to decern whether a client seems unable to fairly represent themselves and whether the client requires an advocacy service, as not everyone does. In general, the advocacy service tends to focus on the most vulnerable and those who are disadvantaged in society. These include:

Mental health – Depression
Learning difficulties
Ill health
Mental distress
Poor educational background
Communication difficulties
Economically poor
Socially excluded
Domestic Abuse
Plus others