the importance of finding a helpful advocate
Link2HOPE is designed to help the family user (that’s probably you) build circles of support around them. These circles can include organizations like churches and nonprofits but also, and more importantly, individuals that you know and trust. These friends can be in your inner circle, or they can be volunteers who have helped you. But an important supportive role is the advocate.
Within the Link2HOPE platform, an advocate is a person connected to an individual or family in need who provides support for that family in various ways. Advocates answer questions in the platform about the family that will suggest service providers and resources that may be helpful for the family’s situation. Advocates may also search within the platform for services and resources that might be helpful and may contact service providers directly on behalf of the family. Don’t forget, though, that you, as a family user, will also receive service provider recommendations and resource articles, and may also search within the platform for them. Before looking on your behalf, the advocate should give you the opportunity to advocate for yourself first!
Most of us naturally advocate for ourselves and our loved ones, but sometimes our circumstances make it hard, and we need help:
- when we don’t have a natural support system of family
- when we need a neutral third party for more difficult situations
- when we’re unsure of our options
- when you want to use Link2HOPE but either don’t have a device or aren’t sure how to use it
An advocate can stand in for you in Link2HOPE, identify choices for you, and support your choices. An advocate in Link2HOPE does not stand in for you in any legal capacity though.
Your advocate should know you well, your situation and your values. Our desire is that this relationship be not just a virtual relationship in Link2HOPE but an in-person relationship as well. Plan to get together with your advocate regularly to share the ups and downs of life.