Advocating for people who have a mental disability

Prepare a report on "advocating for people who have a mental disability". Discuss your findings.


The last few decades have witnessed the increase in the number of advocacy services in various fields which includes advocacy in terms of physical disability, in terms of mental disability, advocacy for elderly and parents etc. this increase in the advocacy services will be influenced by the various policy initiatives. This report focus on advocacy of children who are having the mental disability .this has arisen due to the growing recognition of children legislations and rights , which provide them the right to consult for the decisions that are affecting their lives. This report looks at the aspects of advocacy that are beneficial for clients and the report also encountered the problems of advocates that are faced by them, by providing the recommendations regarding it.

Identification of needs and rights of client

In the words of care planning placement and guidance it states that when then a child has the problem in an expression of their wishes and decisions, the considerations will be provided for securing the support of the advocate. Advocacy is defined as empowering someone in terms of voice. Several types of research have been conducted which suggests that there is very less involvement of children’s with mental disability Client information kit. (2018). the needs will be identified by identification of needs by assessment interview and monitoring their needs from time to time. For e.g. the client is having a mental disability and cannot speak anything in that case the aids will be provided to them for communicating their problem. As per the discrimination Act for disability, it is found out that there are approximately 5, 50,000 mental disabled children in Australia. It is found out that majority of these children’s are facing problems in speech, language, and communication due to the mental instability, and thus arises the need for advocacy for expressing their views.

Skills and knowledge clients need to advocate

Townsley et al suggest that the independent advocacy at the time of evolution of disabled people will highlight the need for information at all levels of advocacy needs. For providing the client the advocacy the advocate has to understand the communication needs of these clients. As in advocacy services both the time and resources are used while working with the child with complex mental problems and communication needs. 
Need for professional advocacy, and how it differs from mediation and conciliation
There is very little research has been done for identification of need of professional advocacy , in terms of children’s with mental instability and there is very less systematic data is there on the advocacy services of mentally retarded children’s. In the words of (Greenspan, 2015), the children’s society has undertaken the number of advocacy services in Australia, which illustrates that the majority of advocacy services have strict service criteria (2018). Advocacy is different from mediation in the way as advocacy only helps the particular party in solving of conflict whereas in mediation and conciliation the resolution of a conflict is done between two parties, with the help of the third neutral party.

Negotiation with people 

The key factor of advocacy is in the way that it allows for the for the outflow of perspectives and wishes of minimized individuals who are frequently depending on support as a method for making consciousness of social issues yet in addition as a way to evaluate their rights and privileges (Henderson and Seltzer, 2015). The fulfillment of rights is a key piece of promotion and that backing has a part in making familiarity with shameful acts (Bateman, 2017). Be that as it may, in connection to individuals with incapacities the rights are constrained and are not enforceable by law (Lawson, on the Web). "A privilege can be characterized as any case that is ethically just or lawfully conceded as suitable" (Final Report, 2015, referred to in Forum for People With Disabilities, 2004:57).

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Strategies to deal with clients

Advocacy is considered as the complex decision-making process as it reviews care, meetings and planning for providing services to the disabled children. The children’s who are mentally weak don’t know what is advocacy and how it benefits them. So the advocates gave to face many challenges regarding this CHCCS402A: Review client progress and outcomes. (2018). For that proper strategies should be made so that the advocacy will be deemed meaningful for them. An imaginative, adaptable way to deal with working with the child. Training and abilities advancement to help advocates working with mentally challenged children’s and especially those who need correspondence needs (Floyd,2017).  Increased subsidizing that is sensible and guarantees that supporters have the fundamental time to go through with the child, keeping in mind the end goal to encourage them in communicating their perspectives.

How information of client be kept confidential

Confidentiality is defined as the protection of personal information. Confidentiality implies keeping a client's data amongst advocate and the client, and not telling others including workers, companions, family, and so on (Hess,2016). There are many legislations governed by the government for protecting the information of client, as according to the Privacy and personal information Act (1998), it is mentioned that disclosure of information relating to personal information , which includes records of the clients, personal and medical details of the client , which if anybody gets accessed it will harm the client.

How clients be informed of the progress of advocacy

The information to the client regarding the progress of advocacy will be delivered time to time as it could be done only in the way by being honest with the client and the problem related to the client. The advocate should communicate the client the changes that are made due to any circumstances related to their matter (Wylie, 2017). The appointments will be made with the clients as and when possible will be intimated 24 hours before the working. To inform the client of the assistance if it is required necessarily by them. For example, if the client is the teenage child with a mental disability then, in that case, the advocate will discuss the progress of advocacy with the parents or guardian of that child, whoever is trustworthy for the client and understands the problems of the client.

Steps to develop advocacy strategies

The steps that are required to develop the advocacy strategies are:
•    Initiate the relevant strategies that are required for advocacy the clients is by addressing the needs of the client.
•    On the request of the client and in consultation with the client contact the organizations that can easily find out the problems of the client and make it communicated to             advocate.
•    Always make ensure that the information should be kept confidential 
•    Discuss the progress with the clients and take necessary action as and when required.

Problems faced by advocates and how to deal with them

Advocates who are working with disabled children's have faced many problems, according to Oliver (2017), they stated that the problem is of lack of time, skills and knowledge required for effective communication with these mentally disabled children’s. In addition to that the limited access for children’s with disabilities raises the awareness of advocacy in terms of rights of communication of the disabled child. Techniques received by those advocates with children with complex correspondence needs include: utilizing basic words or a pro specialized technique, for example, Makaton, pitiful and cheerful faces, drawing what's more, diversions and receiving an experiential, innovative and adaptable approach (Hess,2016). Investing time with the youngster and watching their non-verbal techniques for conveying were likewise recognized as imperative.

Findings and conclusion

In spite of varied challenges faced by the advocates those who are working with disabled and mentally challenged children and youngsters have to understand the communication methods by being positive towards them. Many types of research have been conducted on this study and the findings that have evolved from the studies stated that the process of advocacy has several benefits for the child but the advocate has to face several challenges like communication and the awareness of the child with respect to advocacy services. The findings also state that advocacy brings numerous benefits to the children and families in terms of improved confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing, by increasing the independence level.


Confidentiality - Confidentiality. (2018). Retrieved 23 February 2018, from
CHCCS402A: Review client progress and outcomes. (2018). Retrieved 23 February 2018, from
Client information kit. (2018) (pp. 1-20). Australia. Retrieved 23 February 2018, from
Greenspan, S., & Shoultz, B. (2015). Why mentally retarded adults lose their jobs: Social competence as a factor in work adjustment. Applied Research in Mental Retardation, 2(1), 23-38.
Seltzer, M. M., & Seltzer, G. B. (2015). The elderly mentally retarded: A group in need of service. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 8(3-4), 99-119.
Floyd, F. J., & Gallagher, E. M. (2017). Parental stress, care demands, and use of support services for school-age children with disabilities and behavior problems. Family relations, 359-371.
Hess, R. S., Molina, A. M., & Kozleski, E. B. (2016). Until somebody hears me: Parent voice and advocacy in special educational decision making. British Journal of Special Education, 33(3), 148-157.
Wylie, K., McAllister, L., Davidson, B., & Marshall, J. (2017). Changing practice: Implications of the World Report on Disability for responding to communication disability in under-served populations. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15(1), 1-13.

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