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Navigation/System Advocacy Quick Guide

The Navigation and System Advocacy Quick Guide is for parents and/ or children who feel small in the face of large, impersonal systems. Education about how the system works and help engaging with services can help the client to navigate the system, while speaking to the challenges faced by clients can help the system understand the client

The goal of the Navigation and System Advocacy Quick Guide is to assist individuals and families maneuver through the complex systems that are in place to assist these very same populations. 


  • As a unique population, working and advocating for veterans comes with some specific challenges. Understanding the military culture and the challenges they face is a good place to begin when working with Veterans. For more information, see the Working with Veterans Tool.
  • For many low-income individuals and families in Washington State, services from DSHS may be essential in meeting family basic needs. Navigating their complex system can be challenging for families who have additional barriers such as language, transportation, or a disability. For more information on the services DSHS provides and how to access them see the Navigating DSHS document.
  • Due to the complexity of the United States Justice System, legal advocacy is a common need for individuals and families. For low-income individuals and families who cannot afford expensive lawyer fees, other forms of legal assistance will need to be found. One legal advocacy service in Washington State is the North West Justice Project, who provides free advocacy services to low-income individuals and families. For more information on North West Justice Project, see the Take action section below.

For information on different Navigation and Advocacy services, see the Navigation and System Advocacy Resource Tool

Cultural Standards in Social Work