According to the information gained from the interviews, it can be surmised that the role of the advocate is to speak on the behalf of the families that are represented in a given situation in human services. The advocate also has the job of educating the parents concerning how to speak on their own behalf as well as in the behalf of their children. Mediators act as a go-between for individuals and/or organizations.
They believe that “stable democratic political structures in general lead to peace” (Tremblay, et al., 2004). The lobbyist has the responsibility of presenting the case of particular groups before certain authoritative bodies in order to provoke these bodies to act in a favourable way toward the group. In this way, a lobbyist is similar to an advocate. However, the lobbyist seeks to convince individual representatives to adopt particular legislation to which the client is partial. The role of the mediator is important because it requires an even stricter level of impartiality.
The mediator’s role is to act as an interpreter of policies that affect two parties that may have a conflict. The mediator must be understanding of the situation from the perspective of each party and be able to explain the interest of each party to the opposing party. They may also act as mediator between an individual and an organization or a department of human services. Finally, mediators are also responsible to lead the parties as close to a resolution of the conflict as is possible given the situation.
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While they are not arbitrators and are not responsible for making the decision, they are important in facilitating the dialog that eventually leads to the resolution of the problematic situation. It is impossible for departments of client advocacy, conflict resolution, and policy change to exist without competition for scarce resources. The reason is that many of the policies that need advocacy are often in conflict with each other, and the representatives being sought during lobbying are often able only to accept one policy at the expense of another.
Such competition exists primarily because of the scarcity of resources, and conflicts usually arise for the same reason. While conflict resolution seems to present a favorable solution to the problem of resources, it is often through compromise that this will be achieved. Plus, the process of resolution is often one that consumes resources.
Reference Tremblay, R. C. , C. Nikolenyi & L. Otmar. (2004). “Peace and conflict: alternative strategies of governance and conflict resolution. ” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. 5(2-3): 125-148.
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