Competence and Care in Advocacy

Competent advocacy acquisition will require engaging a reputable institution with a robust training program in one or more of the following disciplines:

1. Psychology
2. Sociology
3. Policy/jurisprudence

Your selection should be “trauma-informed.”

Competence acquisition for front line advocates is critical. You must determine the what, how, when, where, why, and whom of your contribution. Then acquire the skill and scope of practice to help and not harm.

To be sure you can remain in nearly any full time profession and engage in part-time advocacy. What I am suggesting is that if you are chosing to advocate, that advocacy should be evidence based. All advocates must operate within a defined scope of practice, have a standard of care, and a duty of care. Caring is insufficient. In the name of “care,” some of the suffering have been led astray; the hopeless harmed; the fragile, fragmented; the exposed, exploited.

I understand this is uncomfortable to hear. It is even more uncomfortable to say. However, we can agree that the best intentions need to be evidence-based, not just experientially driven.