The chart illustrates the typical flow of the advocacy work of our office, and demonstrates how other areas of our work lead to systemic advocacy overall (such as the release of a public report or investigation or meeting with stakeholders).
All advocacy issues are received during the intake stage by a Regional Advocate via phone, email, social media, or in person. It is at this stage that Regional Advocates interview our callers to gather as much information as possible, inquire about what steps have been taken to address the issue, provide suggestions on how the caller can further their own advocacy efforts, and refer callers to other supports and services if needed.
From there, the Regional Advocate will assess what role the Advocate may have by critically reviewing the reported issues and what other pieces of information are required and from whom. If it is assessed that there is an ongoing role, Regional Advocates will embark on the advocacy case work journey with the goal of resolution – which can vary case to case. Resolution could include (among other possibilities) ensuring a child is at the centre of the planning, assisting a young person in having their voice heard, collaborating so planning is appropriate or negotiating a compromise. When advocating for children and youth, it is essential that Regional Advocates have extensive knowledge on the rights of children and youth, on how the child-serving Ministries, agencies, or publicly-funded health entities operate and understand their policies and legislation, what other services and supports exist, and how to mediate and bring several groups together to collaborate.
As the chart demonstrates, public education and stakeholder relation activities often lead to new advocacy intakes as well as can support ongoing advocacy case work. Having strong connections within the child-serving systems can be a benefit when seeking resolution on an advocacy issue.