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Stand Up Placer Outreach

on 31 July 2018

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Transcript of Advocacy

Today's Objectives:

Understand the role of an advocate

Learn basic counseling skills

Key points in making a successful referral
Keys to Advocacy:

Trauma Informed Approach

Non-Judgemental Environment

Empowerment Model


Web of Services
What are guiding principles?
These principles serve as an ever-present backdrop to our work and are infused into every decision we make, particularly with our interactions with survivors.
Violence and trauma experienced by survivors cannot be analyzed in isolation. In order to competently provide any services to survivors, advocacy must be approached with an anti-oppression and social justice analysis.
Understand that all forms of oppression – sexism, racism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, etc. – impact a survivor’s experience of abuse.
Privilege – white, educational, financial, Christian – will color the advocate’s response to a survivor’s story and therefore, the way the advocate will or will not work with the survivor.
Let's get started
Guiding Principles
Client Centered Approach
The guiding principle relies on the firm belief that the survivor is the expert in their own situation.
They are the only one who can decide on what is best for themselves and their family.
The survivor dictates what the advocate does and does not do.
Advocates do not impose what they think the survivor should or should not do, no matter how much they may disagree.
Avoid the restrictive language trap:

You should/shouldn't...
You must...
You need to...
You've got to...
It's important that you...
You really can't....
Recognizing that safety for our clients means more than only physical safety.

All areas of safety can be motivation for people to leave an abuser, but also barriers for why they stay with abusers.

Remember that safety can mean different things at different times for survivors.

The principle of empowerment relies on the belief that an advocate's work with a survivor is based on the survivor's right to access information and options and to make decisions for themselves
It means that advocates believe that the survivor has done exactly what they needed to do to survive - even if that was to stay in the abusive relationship
Empowerment Wheel
What is Advocacy?
Trauma Informed Approach
the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery;

the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system;

by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and

Seeks to actively resist
When we interact with a client, we oftentimes are only presented with the tip of the iceberg - their DV, SA, and or HT.

However, a trauma informed approach informs us that there is a large mass beneath the surface, which informs a clients decisions and actions.
An Advocate:
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration
A trauma-informed approach reflects adherence to six key principles rather than a prescribed set of practices or procedures. These principles may be generalizable across multiple types of settings, although terminology and application may be setting- or sector-specific:

1. Safety
2. Trustworthiness and Transparency
3. Peer support
4. Collaboration and mutuality
5. Empowerment, voice and choice
6. Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues
Trauma-specific intervention programs generally recognize the following:

The survivor's need to be respected, informed, connected, and hopeful regarding their own experience

The interrelation between trauma and symptoms of trauma such as substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety

The need to work in a collaborative way with survivors, family and friends of the survivor, and other human services agencies in a manner that will empower survivors
What is advocacy?
Here's a basic definition:

To do something for someone they cannot do for themselves

To speak on someone's behalf when they cannot do it for themselves
Let's develop a working
definition of advocacy
What are some examples of advocacy?
Language Access
Acquire Income
Assist with Social
Service System
Refer to Legal Assistance
Secure Childcare
Criminal Justice Advocacy
Obtain Adequate Housing
Facilitate Healing
What are the differences
between advocacy, crisis intervention and
peer counseling?
Now that we've reviewed the core principles for working with survivors, we can use that as the frame for exploring what advocacy actually looks like and what the advocate's role during the advocacy process.

So, what is advocacy?
Role of

Most, if not all, interactions with survivors will include a combination of advocacy, peer counseling and crisis intervention
: Provides assistance with referrals and services, connecting to needed resources that fit the survivor's needs.
Crisis Counseling/Intervention
To work with and deescalate a survivor immediately after or during an emotionally stressful event of traumatic change in their life. Crisis can tar down a survivor's resolve and ability o make a decision until they are unable to see their situation outside of cirsis
Peer Counseling:
Creates a supportive environment where the survivor discuss their feelings and experiences without judgement, criticism or
Crisis Intervention
What is a Crisis?
A stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, for better or worse, is determined; turning point.
A condition of instability or danger, as in social, economical, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.
A dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person's life
What are characteristics of someone in crisis?
Fight, flight or freeze
Slow motion
Adrenaline rush
Heart rate increase
What are emotional characteristics of someone in crisis?
Disbelief, denial
Loss of trust
Empathy vs. Sympathy
Crisis Intervention
Empathy vs. Sympathy
Short term
Listen and understand
Danger and opportunity
Address safety
Identify options
The word
in Chinese combines the character risk/danger + opportunity
Instead of looking at a crisis as an insurmountable problem, look at crisis through a lens of transformation and an opportunity for change.
Basic Crisis Intervention Skills
Take a moment to create a clear space externally and internally
You will never know what to expect when interacting with a survivor for the first time, for your mental health and theirs, this first step is vital.
Remain calm and centered
Regulate your own feelings and the survivor's anger and agitation
There will be many moments where the abuse endured by the survivor - from their abuser and different institutions - will infuriate you, sadden you, make you question humanity. Be mindful to regulate these feelings to maintain professional boundaries with clients.
Encourage the survivor
to make decisions for their future
Let the survivor decide their
own pace for change
Part of being client-centered
is meeting clients where they are at and moving at their pace.
As an advocate, understand the difference between urgent and immediate.
Take a moment to create a clear space externally and internally
Remain calm and centered
Regulate your own feelings and the survivor's anger and agitation
Encourage survivor to make decisions for their future
Let the survivor decide their own pace for change
To Recap:
Be mindful about not imposing your personal values or feelings regarding the situation
Minimize educational, social, and economic differences as much as possible
Allow the survivor to discuss negative feelings about an abusive partner, but do not reinforce general stereotypes about abusers
Do not convey disappointment or rejection if a survivor elects to return to an abusive situation
Explain all information thoroughly
Peer Counseling
What is peer counseling?

What does it look like?
Empathy is not:
Having had the same experience or problem
Identification with the client
"Let me tell you my story"
"I hear what you are saying"
Empathy is:
The ability to accurately understand the client's meaning
The ability to reflect that accurate understanding back to the client
Skills for Peer Counseling
Open questions
Active listening
Reflective listening
Summarizing, paraphrasing, feedback
Building self-esteem
Identifying and prioritizing needs
Reviewing options, establishing realistic goals
Open the
Warm, friendly greeting
Ask permission
Ask open questions
Listen with:

Undivided attention
Eyes, ears, and heart
Delight (when appropriate)
Encouragers: e.g. mm-hmm, I see, go on, tell me more
Reflections have the effect of encouraging
the other person to elaborate, amplify confirm or correct
Ways to open:

So you feel... It sounds like you...
You're wondering if... So you...
You're feeling... It seems to you that...

Levels of Reflection
Repeating (repeats an element of what the client said)
Rephrasing (uses new words)

Paraphrasing (makes a guess to unspoken meaning)
Reflection of feeling (deepest form; a paraphrase that emphasizes the emotional dimension through feeling statements
No Fixin'
No education
No problem solving
No skill building
No confronting, pressuring, convincing, arguing, taking charge
No advising or sharing opinion
Understand when a client wants you to just listen
Always ask permission before offering information
Offer Advice
Ask permission
: "If you're interested, I have a recommendation (an idea) for you to consider, would you like to hear it?
Offer advice
: "Based on my experience, I would encourage you to consider __________"
Emphasize choice
: "...and I recognize that it's your choice to do so."
Elicit response
: "What do you think about my recommendation (idea)?
Resistance Traps: Beware!
The question-answer trap
The taking sides trap
The expert trap
The restrictive language trap
The cheerleading trap
The information over-load trap
The premature action planning trap
Talking down to
Showing the way
Exerting authority
Premature action
Information overloading
Interpersonal Style & Spirit
Warm & friendly
Honoring of autonomy & choice
Show appreciation
Voice confidence:
I'm confident that if you stick with your
decision to _______, you'll find a way to do it.
Continuing Support
Continuing Support
for clients
What are services that our
clients need
after crisis intervention?
Our Services can be divided into two categories:

Emergency Services
Supportive Services
Let's explore the continuing supportive services
we provide clients, remember clients include
secondary survivors as well as primary
To start, let's brainstorm services
our clients might need...
Our clients have many things on their plate, here are common challenges, issues, barriers, etc. our clients face:
Food insecurity
Housing insecurity
Lack of health insurance
Lack of transportation
Lack of childcare
Substance abuse
Mental health
Language barrier
Legal status
Legal support
Clothing & Household goods
Continuing support for survivors
includes connecting them to our services:
Support Groups
Housing Program
Safe House
Thrift Store Vouchers
Legal Aid
One on one emotional support with advocates
For other needs that cannot be fulfilled directly through Stand Up Placer we rely on referrals to our community partners and case management.
Case management is when a client and advocate set a schedule to work together to come up with creative problem solving, plan of action, organization and emotional support.
Many of the skills from peer counseling are applied here. Clients are making life changes and may need support and most importantly, access to resources, in order to make the best decisions they can for themselves.
Continuing support services overlap with each survivor type.

We do see certain survivor types with common needs. For example domestic violence survivors tend to request legal services in regards to child custody more than our SA and HT clients.
Advocates work collaboratively within teams and across departments to work with clients and meet their needs.
Advocacy means to do something for someone that they cannot- for whatever reason- do for themselves. Advocates are there to help survivors navigate through the systems they will encounter, to provide unconditional support free from judgement, guidance, contacts, and connections with services and systems that the survivor identifies.

It's important to make certain that we advocate for whatever the survivor chooses. That we honor the choices they make even if we don't agree.
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