Advocacy is the process of standing alongside a disadvantaged individual and speaking on their behalf to represent the best interests of that person.

The aim of advocacy is to bring about beneficial outcomes that enable the client to retain as much control as possible over how something is carried out.

Why would I need an advocate?

You might need an advocate for all sorts of reasons, including:

  • Assisting you to access services
  • Assisting you to change services
  • Ensuring the service chosen is appropriate
  • Communicating with the service provider
  • Negotiating suitable resolutions where a complaint or dispute has arisen

Who can be an advocate?

An advocate is someone who can assist you.

This person can be a family member, friend or other person with whom you feel comfortable. You may have a different person as an advocate at different times.

The Role of an Advocate

Advocacy may involve speaking, acting or writing on behalf of an individual (or group) who has / have limited ability to exercise his / her / their rights

Advocacy is a mechanism to facilitate client rights, and you may be requested to support the client in exercising his/her rights.

An advocate could be asked to support the client’s rights to:

  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Respect and dignity
  • Quality services
  • Access information to inform decision making
  • Choice and control
  • Make and resolve complaints
  • Non-discriminatory service
  • Protection of legal and human rights, and freedom from abuse and neglect

The role of the advocate is not impartial, as he or she has an obligation to operate entirely from the perspective of the client in negotiating an outcome.

Advocates Checklist

Advocates must ensure:

  • The client has given written permission
  • CatholicCare is informed of the advocacy
  • Action is always in the best interests of the client
  • The client is aware and informed of any issues and developments in relation to services they receive that may involve advocacy
  • The client is kept informed of any decisions that are made
  • The client is encouraged to provide feedback to you about the services they are receiving
  • CatholicCare is advised about any changes in client circumstances and any concerns about changing client needs
  • They avoid any circumstances where a conflict of interest may arise
  • They do not act as an interpreter for the client while acting in an advocacy role
  • You can also contact a free & confidential, independent advocacy service. A professional can be with you and assist you:
    • Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia (ADA Australia) 1800 818 338
    • National Aged Care Advocacy Line1800 700 600

Get Started Now

Get started now by phone:

Click to call | Call: 1300 523 985 | or

Online Enquiry

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