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3.4.2 Advocacy Escalation Protocol

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This protocol identifies the roles of key staff and should ensue an effective and timely response to concerns raised by young people with the Children’s Rights Advocate.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was slightly amended in May 2013 in regard to the Children’s Rights Advocate.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Aim of the Protocol
  3. Escalation Process

    Appendix 1: Flowchart A - Escalation on NON URGENT Advocacy Issues

    Appendix 2: Flowchart B - Escalation of URGENT Advocacy Issues


1. Introduction

Young people’s perceptions of time are different from adults and delays in responding to requests for help, for whatever reason, will reduce their trust and confidence in the service. Redbridge Children and Families Service has therefore developed this advocacy escalation protocol. The protocol identifies the roles of key staff and should ensure an effective and timely response to concerns raised by young people with the Children’s Rights Advocate.


2. Aim of the Protocol

  • To ensure Redbridge Children and Families Service complies with the National Standards for the Provision of Children’s Advocacy Services 2002, namely Standard 5: ‘Advocacy gives help and advice quickly when they are requested’;
  • To ensure that the Children’s Rights Advocate (C.R.A.) responds promptly to any eligible young person asking for help and that each activity undertaken by the C.R.A. on behalf of a young person is given a specified, achievable timescale;
  • To ensure that professionals are clear about their responsibility to respond promptly to requests made to them on behalf of young people by the C.R.A;
  • To ensure that professionals are clear that if they do not respond to requests made on behalf of a young person in a timely manner or if the issue remains unresolved the C.R.A. will escalate the issue to more senior staff and managers.


3. Escalation Process

  1. If a young person seeks advocacy support regarding a non-urgent issue, Flowchart A will be used to set the timescale for responses and resolution. However another event may dictate the time scale for a response, for example a Care Review. Timescales for non-urgent issues are counted in days;
  2. If a young person seeks advocacy support regarding an urgent issue which the C.R.A. judges to require resolution within the next 24 to 72 hours, the timescale for responses and resolution will be much shorter, as shown in Flowchart B. Examples of urgent issues would include appeals against decisions to be implemented within 24 hours to 5 days e.g. imminent change of placement. Timescales for urgent issues are more difficult to prescribe; the response time will therefore be dictated by the immediacy of the issue and will be made clear by the C.R.A. at each point of contact;
  3. The C.R.A. will need to liaise with the appropriate person with authority to respond. In the event that a Team Manager or Head of Service does not respond, or does not resolve the matter in a timely way, the C.R.A. can at any point make a direct approach to the Chief Children and Families Officer or Assistant Chief Children and Families Officer;
  4. The young person has a right to consider further action at any point. This may include making a complaint, seeking legal advice from a Solicitor or seeking advice directly from another organisation such as the Children’s Rights Director’s Office.

    If the young person decides to take the issue into the public domain e.g. seeking support from the Children’s Rights Director, the C.R.A. will have a duty to alert the Assistant Director or Chief Children and Families Officer of this intention;
  1. The C.R.A. will consult the Safeguarding and Care Planning Manager and/or Head of Service for Commissioning, Quality and Finance before escalating any issue to a Head of Service or more senior manager.


Appendix 1: Flowchart A - Escalation on NON URGENT Advocacy Issues

Click here to view flowchart.


Appendix 2: Flowchart B - Escalation of URGENT Advocacy Issues

Click here to view flowchart.

End