What skills do I need to have?
What makes a good advocate?
The most important thing about any Citizen Advocacy relationship is the quality of the “match”.
Once we have identified the needs of the person with disability who needs support, we can determine what qualities, skills and life experiences are likely to be desirable in a potential advocate.
Almost always things like gender, age and where you live are fundamental considerations when finding the right person to play a specific role in someone’s life. Experience tells us that if we get these basics wrong, the relationship has little chance of working out.
Beyond that, it is very much whether you have the:
- Personal Experiences
- Professional Experiences
- Life Skills
…that the role is likely to demand and the particular person with disability is likely to need in a freely given, one to one relationship of support. We find this out by spending time with you, talking about you and your life experiences and gaining an understanding of what you might bring to a Citizen Advocacy relationship.
- We don’t require any formal qualifications or training.
- We don’t specifically seek out people with previous experience in caring professions or human services.
- We don’t look for people who know a lot about disability.
- We are looking for people with a sense of social justice.
- We do want people who are willing to make a long term commitment.
- We are seeking individuals who want to make a difference through a unique form of community service.
The specific knowledge and understanding you need to have in order to undertake a role as a Citizen Advocate will be provided through the Orientation process and the ongoing support of the Citizen Advocacy staff.