Advocacy and Consultation

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School counselors can often function as advocates, collaborators, and leaders while engaging as consultants (Baker 2009). Previously, consultation was always seen as a role consisting of guidance services only. According to Dougherty (1990), consultation usually involves three parties: a consultant, consultee, and client. In a school, it is natural for the consultee to go to school counselors for assistance. Consultees can be teachers, administration, parents/guardians, or students. In most cases, school counselors act as a support for the students in the school setting. Consultation can often be linked with collaboration and teamwork. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) states that, “Through consultation, partnering, collaborating, and teaming, school counselors provide important contributions to the school system” (2005). According to Chesler, Bryant, and Crowfoot, advocacy characterizes a certain perception of school structure and professional consultation.

One major concern is the role of an interest group in school and society. Actions such as tracking, curriculum concerns, rules for behavior, professional training for teachers, disciplinary enforcement, and teaching technologies, function to the advantage of some groups and to the disadvantage of others. There is an assumption that harmony is natural and that societal conflicts do not exist within the school system. Educators and school support staff continue to view school failure as a result of individual and group behavior and possible administrative difficulty, rather than system inadequacy and structural oppression (Chesler, Bryant, and Crowfoot. 1976).

Consultation can be defined as a special form of advocacy that attempts to bring together and support the actions of at least two other parties. Dougherty (1990) defined a consultant as a person, who delivers direct service to another person (consultee) and has a work-related or caretaking-related problem with a person,...
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