Advocacy Skills for Health and Social Care Professionals

Advocacy Skills for Health and Social Care Professionals

Advocacy Skills for Health and Social Care Professionals

Advocacy Skills for Health and Social Care Professionals


This practical guide to advocacy skills is specifically written for those in the health and social care professions. Neil Baitman examines the function of advocacy within these professions and how to interview, negotiate and self-manage successfully. He provides a structure for advocacy a guide to the ethical implications and advice on litigation and legal matters.


The first edition of this book was published in 1995 by Arena with the title, Advocacy Skills – A Handbook for Human Service Professionals. The book generated much interest, becoming a recommended text on a number of professional training courses for social workers and nurses. It sold out and was even translated into Japanese. It was the first book on advocacy skills for people in social work, nursing or advice work in the UK and I hope that it helped to ensure that advocacy became better recognised both as a legitimate activity and as a skill in itself. This edition of the book builds on feedback about the first edition and it has also been updated.

Advocacy often involves challenging accepted norms and rules that restrict people's lives. By demonstrating the skills of advocacy, this book aims, primarily, to help individuals working in welfare organisations become effective advocates on behalf of their customers/service users. As discussed later, the term 'client' is used in the book.

Who this book is for

Many people working in many different settings in health and social care act as advocates. They might be social workers, nurses, advice workers, members of the clergy, people working in education or housing officials. They may also be trade union officials who act as advocates for their members. This book is aimed at them and not at lawyers who need more specialist texts to take account of the type of advocacy they undertake, but some of the chapters, including those on negotiation and interviewing, might still be useful for them. For simplicity, I describe people who undertake advocacy as 'advocates'.

What this book explains

Successful advocacy is satisfying; unsuccessful advocacy is not satisfying. You can become a better advocate by adopting the approaches discussed in this book, and by using advocacy effectively your clients will be more empowered and better protected.

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