Social and human services are essential to providing necessary services to a variety of people. Client advocates are professionals that provide support and representation to many different people experiencing a variety of situations.
What does a client advocate do?
Client advocates provide assistance to people to help enhance their quality of life. They work with a variety of people such as those who suffer from abuse, neglect, developmental delay, and poverty. They assess the needs of their clients and their eligibility for many different services and benefits. They help individuals receive the necessary services and support. They inform people of their rights and provide assistance with obtaining necessary medical treatment, funding, food, housing, and many other needs. Client advocates ensure clients have the essential information and make follow-up visits or telephone calls to check on clients. Client advocates often monitor records write reports on clients and report the progress to case managers.
What kind of training does a client advocate need?
Client advocates must have at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer applicants with some postsecondary education and relevant work experience. Many client advocates have associate degrees or certificates in human services, social work, or other related field. Many aspiring client advocates complete internships or volunteer experiences to gain practical experience in the field. Many employers provide new client advocates with some on the job training. New advocates often shadow experienced employees to learn the required policies and procedures. Client advocates must complete continuing education and additional training as needed throughout their careers. Many employers provide workshops and seminars on a periodic basis.
What are the prospects for a career as a client advocate?
Employment of client advocates is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 23% through 2018 (1). The growing population and the increased need for social services will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be excellent especially for client advocates with postsecondary education and extensive experience. Many job openings will stem from the need to replace client advocates that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do client advocates make?
As of 2012, the average annual salary for client advocates is $55,000; average annual client advocate salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a client advocate is a great choice for people with a strong interest in social and human services and providing support to a variety of individuals. Client advocates must have a solid understanding of the policies and procedures for providing support and representation to a variety of clients. Patience, detail orientation, understanding, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Client advocates must have good communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work with a variety of clients. They must also have good time management skills and ability to make effective decisions under stress and pressure.
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