What is advocacy?
Advocacy is when you get support to:
- Speak out about your views, wishes and feelings
- Defend and promote your rights and responsibilities
- Be listened to and understood
- Access and understand important information
- Make informed choices and decisions about your life
- Access services
- Be valued and included in your community.
What does an advocate do?
An advocate will work with you to:
- Get your views heard
- Ensure that the correct procedures are followed
- Ensure that your rights are met.
An advocate is independent so will always represent your wishes and best interests.
- Go with you to meetings or appointments in a supportive role
- Write letters on your behalf
- Speak for you in situations where you do not feel able or confident to speak for yourself.
Who is not an appropriate person to act as an advocate?
An advocate should not be someone:
- You don't want to support you
- Already paid to provide care or treatment to you (this can include professionals paid by health, social care or with a personal budget)
- Who is unlikely to be able to support you because they don’t have the skills or time
- Someone who has been named in a Safeguarding Concerns enquiry (and is being investigated for abuse) or who has been judged by a safeguarding adult review to have failed to prevent abuse (including neglect).