Advocacy in a Human Services Organization
Advocacy is the act of influencing decisions affecting the well-being of another individual or group. An advocate is an individual that supports a disadvantage group by speaking or acting on the behalf of the individual’s behalf. An advocate empowers individuals to reach personal goals and assists in conflict resolution. Human service organizations use advocates as a voice for individuals that may not be able plead on their own behalf. Families in Crisis: New Beginnings is a human service organization located in McMinnville, Tennessee. Families in Crisis: New Beginnings is an organization that works with the local community to end the cycle of domestic violence (Giving Matters, 2013). The mission of Families in Crisis: New Beginnings mission is to provide comprehensive support and services to victims and hold offenders accountable. The organization provides a domestic violence shelter, a 24-hour hotline, community outreach, direct client assistance, and court advocacy. Mrs. Kristy Stubblefield, Executive Director, was kind enough to give an informative telephone interview about the organization and the role advocacy plays in supporting domestic violence victims. The advocacy model used by the organization depends on the client’s specific situation. Each client’s personal situation is unique and a broad approach cannot be used with each. The agency assists the clients in speaking for themselves while offering support and encouragement. Mrs. Stubblefield began her career as a home health nurse. After many years of volunteering at fundraisers and seeing too many lives destroyed by domestic violence, she applied and began working as a court advocate in McMinnville as well as surrounding counties. When the former director announced retirement, Mrs. Stubblefield saw this as an opportunity to advance with the organization. The former director mentored Mrs. Stubblefield and when the time came...
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