Challenges of Mediation and Advocacy

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Challenges of Mediation and Advocacy
BSHS 442 Advocacy and Mediation
Virginia Skov
July 11, 2011
University of Phoenix-Online
Facilitator: Shonda McLaughlin

Challenges of Mediation and Advocacy
Human service professionals may experience dual relationships when dealing with clients. Playing the role of mediator and advocate may create impartiality. The following information explores the ethical, moral, and legal challenges of a potential dual relationship a human service professional may experience. The author will also provide insight into personal philosophies and approaches to advocating and mediating within a specific agency setting.

A human service professional needs to maintain impartiality and offer unbiased options to clients. The values, ethics, and morals of the professional should not influence the advocating or mediating process. When a professional crosses from advocating into mediating the challenge of remaining impartial is difficult. Ethically the professional has an obligation to support the client and advocate for the best outcome in all situations. Morally the professional is expected to help the client by offering assistance in the right way to accomplish tasks. Legally the professional is obligated to support the client’s rights. A conflict may arise if the professional becomes an advocate and mediator for the client. The client may lose trust in the professional and issues may arise. Trust is an important factor in mediating conflicts. According to Helm and Scott (1986), Trust given by the mediator must of course be reciprocated for effective results; the parties must trust the mediator. If one party believes the mediator is advising or counseling or seeking information in ways that seem more supportive of the other, then trust for the mediator could be damaged or lost, and the value of mediation as a trusting intervention may be lost as well (p. 69)....
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