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Advocacy and Human Rights-based Practice

November 6, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

€50 – €110


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These workshops are set up in this way, to cater for the different levels of understanding that HSCP’s are at, when supporting people with Disabilities on Advocacy & Human Rights based practice. You can choose to partake in one or two days or all four days.  They will all be in Dublin, ChildVision, Grace Park Road Drumcondra.


The aim of the overall course as outlined below, is to provide knowledge, understanding and application of advocacy and human-rights based practice. In 2018, Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD),  this guarantee’s the same fundamental rights to everyone.

These workshops will provide a unique learning opportunity for social care workers to up-skill and examine how different ways of supporting self-advocacy groups can work effectively and or together under the umbrella of a main service provider. As services become more diverse and innovative people with disabilities want more choice and autonomy.

The following series of workshops and training have been designed to provide a grounding in the principles of advocacy and the application of these for social care workers. A key learning objective is to provide education, training and support for social care workers in applying advocacy and human-rights practice safely into their current job role.

The tools we use are workshop-based learning, drawing on participants’ existing knowledge and skills and adding the requisite practical and theoretical framework for practice development. We focus on sustainable change in work practices and offer follow-up mentoring for a three month period to support the development of peer support, reflective practice and implementation of new skills.

Day 1: Introduction to Advocacy & Human Rights-based practice. 

The overall aim of the day is to provide an opportunity for participants to become familiar with the human rights principles underlying advocacy as applied to their daily practice, to understand the role of advocate in the context of the health and social care systems and to understand the basic principles of advocacy. They will explore their own attitudes to issues of autonomy and protection and will develop the confidence to make appropriate decisions about how they might apply advocacy principles in their day-to-day practice.

Learning outcomes:

1. Understand definition of advocacy and basic principles of advocacy.
2. Understand the reasons why people using social care services might need advocacy with reference to human rights and equality theory.
3. Understand how advocacy fits within current legal and social policy context in Ireland, in particular the Assisted Decision-Making Act 2015.
4. Understand the role of the advocate and explore the importance of independence in that role.
5. Identify and explore strategies to manage potential conflicts when carrying out advocacy alongside other roles.
6. Practice active listening skills in an advocacy context.
7. Become more confident about supporting service-users’ self-advocacy and recognising when it is appropriate to act as advocate for a service user.

Day 2: Building Advocacy and Human Rights Based Practice Skills.

The aim of the day is to allow participants to deepen their understanding of advocacy and in particular to practice the skills needed when acting as advocate/ supporting self- advocacy. It will give participants increased skills and confidence to support service users to participate in decision-making and to identify and manage conflicts which may arise.

Learning outcomes;

1. Recognise barriers which people with disabilities to participating in decisions affecting them and having their wishes respected.
2. Develop strategies around addressing common barriers to participation, including communication strategies, managing gatekeepers, and using human rights-based approaches.
3. Become aware of own attitudes to issues of autonomy and protection.
4. Become aware of own attitudes to conflict and identify preferred conflict style.
5. Practice conflict and negotiation skills such as active listening, reframing, joint problem solving approaches and challenging where appropriate.
6. Identify self-care and peer support strategies to support advocacy and human- rights based practice.

Day 3: Planning and Developing a Self-Advocacy Group.

This session will focus on skills and strategies for planning and running a self-advocacy group for service-users.

Learning outcomes:

1. Understanding the philosophy and aims of self-advocacy.
2. Identify own assumptions about who should participate and the purpose of the group.
3. Planning for a successful group: identify who, what, why, where, when and how with specific attention to service user’s particular needs and challenges.
4. Identify potential barriers to recruitment and participation and strategies to address these.
5. Practical group management skills: agreeing ground rules, setting and managing expectations, establishing accountability.
6. Identify self-care and peer support strategies for when things don’t go according to plan.

Day 4: TBA based on interest expressed by participants from Day 3.

Biography: Eleanor Edmond is a qualified (non-practising) solicitor (Law Society of Ireland 2001). From 2005-2012 she worked for as Advocacy Manager for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. She was responsible for the development and operation of the first dementia-specific advocacy service in Ireland and led the Alzheimer Society’s engagement with the consultation process on Irish capacity legislation. She was extremely proud to support the first Irish person with dementia to participate in the European Dementia Working Group (a self-advocacy group) and to contribute to the subsequent establishment of the Irish Dementia Working Group.
Since October 2012 she has been working as a freelance consultant providing training and policy advice in the areas of advocacy, human rights and capacity law.
Highlights include developing and delivering a QQI level 6 course in Advocacy to over 150 volunteer advocates nationwide as well as bespoke training on the Assisted Decision-Making Act for a variety of service-providers.

Biography: Dr Louise Dawson currently works as an Independent Consultant in Health and Social Care. She has worked in the area of health and community services with people with disabilities for over 25 years in Ireland and the UK. She holds a PhD from the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences, University of Salford, Manchester, UK. Louise has held lectureships in the UK in a range of Social Science and Social Care subjects. Louise has for the past ten years worked extensively as a Professional Advocate, Mediator, Case Manager, Guardian Ad Litem for vulnerable adults, Researcher and Assessor, and Independent Expert Witness.


November 6, 2019
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
€50 – €110
Event Category:


ChildVision Grace Park Road
Drumcondra, Dublin Ireland
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Charlotte Burke