Someone to watch over my interests

Posted on September 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

Is an advocate (a) a Scottish law officer, (b) a person who puts a case on someone else1s behalf, or (c) a Dutch alcoholic drink? – well, it1s not (c); that1s advocaat, an acquired taste. (a) is perfectly correct, though my reference books disagree on how far advocates should be seen as the equivalents of barristers South of the Border (no letters please!). My focus for this article, however, is on (b). The word advocate is routinely used in legal contexts, but these days it often features in a range of settings beyond the practice of law. These include social care, where the word’s origin – the latin, ad vocare, to call to one’s aid – seems particularly apt. Timely as ever, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has just published a study: Information, advice and advocacy for older people by Andrew Dunning. This draws on three other JRF publications, each a collection of essays, with ten authors in all, which respectively survey access, the design of services, and current practice. The fact that all four titles link

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