Advocacy means giving young person support so that their thoughts and feelings are heard. The service also helps young people understand their rights and express what they want.
An advocate will inform the young person of their rights and entitlements, help them share their views, explore choices and options for them, liaise with other professionals.
The role of an advocate/how does an advocate support a young person:
- Listening to the young person
- Understanding views, wishes and feelings of the young people
- Share the views of the young person in their words with their consent
- Support the young person at a meeting or can attend a meeting on behalf of the young person.
- To help the young person to understand what other information is being presented by other professionals
- Providing information on the young person’s rights and entitlements
- Respecting decisions and remain impartial as an advocate should not give their opinion
- To ensure that the young person is aware of the complaints process and to be able to support the young person to submit a compliant if requested to do so.
- An advocate has to adhere to confidentiality.
Who can access this service:
- Young people from Stoke and Staffordshire aged 5 – 18 who are either a Looked After Child OR have a Child Protection Plan OR have a Child in Need plan
- Young people from Stoke and Staffordshire aged 5 – 25 who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) or learning difficulties
- Care Leavers from Stoke and Staffordshire up to the age of 25
Anybody can make a referral as long as the young person has given consent for this. Self-referrals are encouraged. Any professional or family member can also make a referral.