Appointing an advocate

Your family member can legally appoint an advocate.

This is someone trained to speak up for them and support their preferences when they have to make decisions about their services.

Advocates can help in areas like:

  • School — including the IEP process

  • Health insurance — including working with Medicaid

  • Adult services — including working with the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) to get support services

The advocate can get paperwork, go to meetings and speak up for your family member.

Here's what you can do:

  • Talk to a lawyer, teacher, or case manager for help in deciding if an advocate is right for your family. (See the box below to learn how to find one.)

  • Contact your local Families Helping Families office. They have a list of people who have been trained as advocates in various areas.

  • Look for resources listed at the Louisiana Parent Training and Information Center. (Click to open it in a new tab.)

    • This is a resource for parents, advocates, and people with disabilities throughout the state. They're located in Jefferson but provide information to everyone in Louisiana. They have lots of tools for self-advocacy.

If you can't afford a lawyer, try calling one of these organizations.

They should be able to give you free advice and maybe free or low cost legal help.

(Click on the title and the website will open in a new tab.)

  • Use our Resource Directory. Put in your zip code and look in the Legal category under Services.

    • Reminder: We do not endorse any of these providers. We are simply providing links for your reference.

Sources: Misilo (2013), Nadworny & Haddad (2007)