How do Advocates work
Advocacy is about empowering children and young people to make sure that their rights are respected and their views and wishes are heard at all times. It is about representing their views, wishes and needs to decision-makers and helping them navigate the system.
Advocates are not part of the multi-agency professional network for children and young people; it is not the advocate’s role to promote the “best interest” of a child.
The Advocates role is to amplify the issues and concerns raised by children and young people without judgement, giving our opinions, or influencing young people. Advocates help young people communicate with the professionals and service providers involved in their care and helping them secure their rights and entitlements.
- support young people at meetings and to have a say in decisions that are made about them. We attend Me and My World reviews, Child Protection Conferences, Family Group Conferences, PEP’s etc.
- help young people sort out issues with their Foster Carer, Social Worker, School, Housing, Benefits, Court etc.
- give young people information and help them think through their options including possible consequences
- offer support to young people who wish to make a representation or complaint
- take up individual and collective issues
- visit children and young people in their own home, foster care, children’s homes, schools or where is most comfortable for them
- inform young people and social work teams/education/health services about our service
- promote children's rights
- consult with young people in policy development
- ensure that Senior Officers in BHCC know what issues young people are dealing with and what is important to them.