Care Coordinators as Family Advocates


A care coordinator may act as an advocate for the needs of the child and family. While being an advocate sounds like you need an advanced degree, in the health care realm it has various connotations and is often part of the work you are already doing.
What is an Advocate? An advocate is defined as "one who pleads the cause of another." Advocacy can be for an individual or on behalf of a group of individuals.
Who is an Advocate? Any individual or group can be an advocate. Examples of advocates include parents, physicians, nurses, clergy, social worker and anyone that meets the definition. In the Medical Home Model, all team members act as the child’s and family’s advocate.
  • Advocacy for an Individual
    • Completing a Letter of Medical Necessity for a child to obtain an insurance authorization for needed equipment or procedure, see Medical Necessity, part 1 (PDF Document 71 KB) and Medical Necessity, Part 2 (PDF Document 173 KB)
    • Participating in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings at a child's school
    • Parent Advocates within the Medical Home reaching out to touch base with a parent of a child with special health care needs
  • Advocacy for a Group

Authors & Reviewers

Initial publication: December 2003; last update/revision: November 2018
Current Authors and Reviewers:
Author: Jennifer Goldman, MD, MRP, FAAP
Authoring history
2015: revision: Mindy Tueller, MS, MCHESCA
2008: revision: Stephen L. Guthery, MS, MDR
2006: revision: Barbara Ward, RN BSR
2003: first version: Gina Pola-MoneyA
AAuthor; CAContributing Author; SASenior Author; RReviewer