This was prepared by a specialist on the subject and would probably cut down incidences of the disease. (Advocacy Group Issues Guides for Diagnosing ADHD) There are some communities who need constant help and one of them is the Latino community and the help from counselors and advocacy is certainly welcome. Victims in the Latino community suffer due to their language barrier and immigration status. (Counseling and Referral Services for the Latino Community)
III. New Framework for Advocacy in Counseling/Counselor Education Programs
A. Identifying injustices or need to improve conditions within profession:
There has been a finding that developmental framework is required for a developmental framework as the foundation for any type of counseling. This has been noted by different experts and they have stated "that career guidance and counseling services would be greatly improved if theory and research could identify those traits and trends of development observed in adolescence... that predict more successful outcomes in adulthood." (Galassi; Akos, 2004) Another set of authorities have talked about school counseling and they have stressed the importance of grounding the program in a sound framework of developmental theory and practice. The basis for these ideas is the cognitive development stage theories. Yet it is rare that a really comprehensive program has been implemented. On the other hand, the experts believe that confusion has existed between the scope and the sequence of these programs and the method used has been a theoretical one about development. The best part of it is that the personal and social component of these programs has been based on very strong developmental basis. But the other aspects of culture and ethnic development were not looked into. (Galassi; Akos, 2004)
B. Moving from Static to Functional models:
In recent times, there have been changes in developmental and positive psychology. These changes do not reject the existing models for school counseling. Yet they definitely indicate that there has to be a shift and this is in terms of revision and integration of these models. The new suggestions effectively strengthen the developmental underpinnings of school counseling by finding out empirically supported programs and results. What we are mentioning here is in regard to the skills, attitudes and knowledge and these are the positive factors or internal assets and also the systems that are capable of adapting to a new situation. These are the factors that lead to positive development of youth. The progress in this manner is also connected with the social-cultural conditions and these are like external assets, protective processes, need satisfying environments, etc. those are the items that lead to student achievement and direct development. The sum of these conditions extends well beyond the environment of the school and also includes the family and community that exist around the student. (Galassi; Akos, 2004)
C. Introduce Developmental Advocacy:
The above principles lead us to a counseling approach that is called Developmental Advocacy. This method modifies and increases the role of the school counselor within the traditional school counseling program in a number of ways. In this method, the emphasis is on promotion of development rather than prevention and correction, though the last two still remain a part of his role. (Galassi; Akos, 2004)
D. Stages of Developmental Advocacy:
Advocacy now is to support student achievement and is not only a philosophical orientation to work like an advocate. The new tools like computers may help the school counselor in his advocacy role to progress much faster in his work. (Stone; Turba, 1999) The stages can be outlined as "de-emphasizing administrative and clerical tasks as also crisis centered modes of intervention; Both being proactive and preventive; transfer from the focus on mental health to a focus on academic achievement; what will help the students to bounce back; Six steps to foster resiliency in the form of social bonding, clear and consistent boundaries, life skills, care and support, set and high expectations, provide opportunities for meaningful participation; External assets in the form of support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, and time; internal assets in the form of educational commitment, values, social competencies, positive identity and increasing what is positive about the student." (Current Issues in Counseling)
One of the most important factors is resiliency and that is a major protective factor for traits, conditions, situations and incidents that can start movement in a negative direction. This also helps in the development of intelligence, self-motivation, sociability, autonomy, etc. This is also seen in the Resiliency Wheel which provides six themes and strategies for development - "provide caring and support, set and communicate high expectations, provide opportunities for meaningful participation, increase bonding, set clear and confident boundaries and teach the skills of life." (Developmental Advocacy: Twenty-First Century School Counseling)
There are changes in education all through and probably this is the time for advocacy to take a bright new step forward.
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