What will I need to do?
The preferable initial step is to arrange a face to face meeting with the Sunbury Citizen Advocate coordinator. Through it the coordinator will brief you about the program and answer any of your questions such as:-
Based on your attributes such as skills, life experience and networks etc., the coordinator will endeavour to match you with a suitable protégé to achieve a good fit between the needs of the protégé and the skills and time available of the advocate. For example, this may include:-
After being accepted as a suitable advocate candidate for a particular protégé, you will undergo advocate orientation to prepare you for your specific involvement with the person you will be introduced to.
In today’s society, it is commonly assumed that paid professionals are needed to address people’s needs. Citizen Advocacy, in contrast, asks ordinary citizens to become involved in the lives of people with intellectual disability. Many people possess a variety of talents through their experience in family, work, church and community associations. This experience often makes a real difference in the life of a person with a disability.
Advocate associates are volunteers to the advocacy office who possess skills and knowledge useful to advocates and protégés. From time to time, an advocate associate can offer advice and perspective on such matters as the technical dimensions of the services which a protégé receives or seeks to receive, strategy development for management of a demanding situation, or advise on technical matters that have relevant to the relationship.
(e.g., advise on managing an issue related to guardianship of property). A sufficient number of active advocate associates provide a safeguard against staff being drawn into individual advocacy activities, and provides a major support to advocates and their protégés who choose to avail themselves of their council. Advocate associates should be respectful of the advocate’s role in the relationship, and should avoid supplanting efforts the advocate is willing to make
Who is eligible to be a member?
Any person who supports the purposes of the Association is eligible for membership.
To apply to become a member of the Sunbury Citizen Advocate, a person must submit a written application (link) to a committee member stating that the person:-
(a) wishes to become a member of the Association
(b) supports the purposes of the Association
(c) agrees to comply with the association rules.