There are many ways that a citizen advocate can be involved.
Some examples are:
- Spokesperson — to vigorously represent a person’s best interests and to help them acquire necessary services and supports.
- Friend — to begin an ongoing, hopefully life long relationship that may develop into a true friendship over time.
- Ally — to stand with a person during good times and bad times.
- Monitor — to evaluate and hold human service organizations accountable for their actions.
- Mentor — to offer guidance, affirmation, and direction through your presence, personal example, and advice.
- Opportunity Maker — to arrange for a person to take advantage of new or better opportunities in our community in work, education, civic involvement, neighborhood involvement, or leisure.
- Red Tape Cutter — to help cut through policies and procedures that can sometimes overwhelm.
- Representative Payee — to assume responsibility of a person’s finances and to help the person with planning a monthly budget and saving for the future.
- Adoptive Parent — to provide a forever family.
- Legal Guardian — to assume court-sanctioned responsibility for a person’s major personal or financial decisions.
- Crisis Advocate — to respond and be present to a protégé immediately on a short term basis until a long term advocate can be recruited, oriented and matched.
- Advocate Associate — to offer your skills, talents, expertise, and influence to a citizen advocate who is advocating for his or her protégé. Advocate associates are needed in the areas of networking, political savvy, law, journalism, financial planning, housing, employment, medical, and education.