What is an advocate?
Welcome! We are so glad that you have joined Link2HOPE and are giving of your time and heart to serve as an advocate for an individual or family. But what, exactly, do we mean by an “advocate” in this context?
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 families will also receive service provider recommendations and resource articles, and may also search within the platform for them. Before looking on their behalf, give the family the opportunity to advocate for themselves first!
We encourage you to use the platform as a tool and not as your only means of connection with the family! Spend time together, get to know one another better, and build a true friendship. We will provide you with resources to help you learn and grow in your skills as a mentor, advocate, and friend.
Please note that we do not encourage advocates to do everything for the family. Do not take responsibility that is not yours. In addition, be aware that in some instances, the family will need to access the services on their own. For example, many food pantries will not allow you to pick up food for someone else. Instead, find creative ways to assist, like helping arrange a ride or childcare so that the family can access those services themselves.
Finally, check out our Ally training, which helps people learn to walk alongside others in need and support them in healthy and dignifying ways. We’d love to welcome you to one of these training sessions and support you and your family in this journey together.
An advocate is a person connected to an individual or family in need who provides support in various ways.