How does a Lived Experience Advocate benefit my organisation/service?
Professionals who work in the ATOD sector, such as counsellors or case managers, are experts in their field, and people who use ATOD services are experts in their experience. If the two groups work together, there are more opportunities for growth and change.
What are the benefits of having a Lived Experience Advocate?
A Lived Experience Advocate can benefit your service by:
- giving advice based on lived experience that will improve overall service quality
- increasing service users’ satisfaction, resulting in better service outcomes
- meaningfully including people who might not feel fully connected to their treatment or support experience
- helping to develop information tailored to service users
- helping to choose good staff who will work well with service users
- helping plan specific improvements to service delivery with service users in mind
- taking part in discussions between service organisations and service users to find a common voice
- building trust between service users and staff
- reducing some pressures faced by the service
- reducing the number of service user complaints
- helping the service meet accreditation and legal requirements, including the National Safety and Quality in Health Service Standards, Standard 2: partnering with Consumers
How does my service work with a Lived Experience Advocate?
The ATDC expects service providers to provide real and meaningful opportunities for Advocates and to listen to what they have to say.
An Advocate should be treated like any other community expert. This includes providing the Advocate with proper workplace induction, listening to what they have to say and answering any questions they may have.
If your service decides to take on an Advocate, the ATDC’s Lived Experience Advocate Service Coordinator will be on hand to provide support to both parties and make sure that everything is working out.
Download LEAS information pack for services (PDF) (coming soon)