Challenges of Being an Advocate and Neutral Facilitator

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Challenges of Being an Advocate and Neutral Facilitator


Advocacy and mediation are continually being integrated into various spectrums of the human services field; but what happens when these two methods of helping present challenges for one another? While ethical, moral, and legal challenges of potential dual relationships are common, there are specific approaches that can be implemented which can help alleviate these stressors. The author will present a personal perceptive on the integration of advocacy and mediation within the human services field, as well as her personal philosophy and individual approach to both advocating and mediating within a specific agency: Planned Parenthood.

Dual Relationship Challenges
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If an individual does not agree with the prescribing of birth control or abortion due to religious beliefs or personal values, it would not be wise for that individual to mediate for an agency that provides both of these services.


Mediating and advocating for clients is an essential service provided by human service workers, but not everyone is cut out for the job; it takes encouraging, knowledgeable, and non-judgmental individuals to maintain the integrity of both the mediation and advocating processes. While an advocate is most likely found standing up for a specific group or a particular issue, a mediator helps assist two or more parties in resolving a conflict without expressing any favoritism. In order for a mediator to maintain unbiased and preserve the reliability of the mediation process, they must seek out an agency that provides services that correlate with their own belief system; otherwise they will have to check their own set of values and beliefs at the door which can be incredibly difficult, and in some cases – impossible. References

Community Mediation Services. (2010). Mediation. Retrieved from

Worldwide Legal Directories. (2010). Retrieved from

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