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3.4.1 What is Advocacy and Eligibility Criteria


Contents

  1. What is Advocacy?
  2. Eligibility Criteria
  3. How to Access Advocacy
  4. Advocacy in Child Protection Conferences (Aged 12-17)
  5. Advocacy in Child Protection Conferences for Care Leavers Who Are Parents and Their Child is Subject to a Child Protection Conference
  6. Advocacy for Looked After Children and Care Leavers
  7. Advocacy Reports


1. What is Advocacy?

Advocates help children to raise issues and concerns about things they are unhappy about.

Advocates do this by giving children information, appropriate to their age, so that they can achieve understanding and form opinions. Advocates speak up for and empower children to speak up for themselves. So that their voices are heard and their wishes and views are fully understood, in order that they can participate and influence decisions that affect their lives.

Advocacy is not necessarily about representing the child’s ‘best interest’. This is an important point to understand and one that is often misunderstood by professionals. The advocate simply supports and speaks out for a child. It is not for the advocate to censor the child’s voice, but to enable it to be heard.

Advocates work exclusively for children and the child always leads the advocacy process. The advocate only acts upon his/her express permission and instructions. Advocacy is independent and confidential. This means that nothing will be disclosed outside the advocacy service, without the child’s agreement. Only in exceptional circumstances would confidentiality be broken, namely where there is a risk of Significant Harm to them or to someone else, or if disclosure is required by a court order.


2. Eligibility Criteria

Redbridge Looked After Children and care leavers, aged from birth to 21 (25 if in full time education or disabled).

In addition any Redbridge child wishing to make a complaint about a council service who is:

  • A Child in Need and does not have a parent/carer to help them;
  • Or a Looked After Child or care leaver.

Note: The right to advocacy does not extend to a parent or another person making a complaint on behalf of a child.


3. How to Access Advocacy

  1. Children and young people can contact the Children’s Rights Advocate directly by telephone, e-mail, letter or in person. Professionals and carers may need to offer encouragement and support;
  2. Professionals and carers can contact the Children’s Rights Advocate on behalf of a child or a young person by telephone, e-mail or in person. Advocacy is led by the child, therefore permission of the child or young person should be sought before making contact;
  3. In the case of children who do not have sufficient understanding to give there consent e.g. under 5’s, referrals will be accepted without the child’s expressed wish for advocacy.

Contact Details

Jan Edwards - Children’s Rights Advocate (Manager)
0208 708 5811
jan.edwards@redbridge.gov.uk

Dechaun Malcolm - Deputy Children’s Rights Advocate
0208 708 5335
dechaun.malcolm@redbridge.gov.uk


4. Advocacy in Child Protection Conferences (Aged 12-17)

Click here to view: How to make A Referral for Advocacy in Child Protection Conferences

Letter to Parents Explaining Advocacy

Click here to view: A Guide for Young People Aged 12+ - Child Protection Conferences
Please Do Not Print. Hard copy leaflets are available in area offices.

Click here to view: Social Work Referral Form for Advocacy in Child Protection Conferences (Access by staff only).

Click here to view: Child Friendly Social Work Report Template
(Access by staff only)

Click here to view: Example of a Completed Child Friendly Social Work Report
(Access by Staff only).


5. Advocacy in Child Protection Conferences for Care Leavers Who Are Parents and their Child is Subject to a Child Protection Conference

Click here to view: Advocacy for Parents who are Looked After or Care Leavers in Child Protection Conferences

Click here to view: Child Friendly Letter for Case Conferences

Click here to view: Child Friendly Social Workers Report Template

Click here to view: Example of a Completed Child Friendly SW Report


6. Advocacy for Looked After Children and Care Leavers

Click here to view: Role of Advocacy in Active Care Proceedings

Click here to view: Role of Advocacy in Child Care Reviews

Click here to view: What is Advocacy for Looked After Children and Care Leavers

Click here to view: Advocacy Leaflet for Young People (Aged 10 and Over)

Click here to view: Advocacy Leaflet for Children (Under 10’s)

Click here to view: Confidentiality Statement for Children and Young People


7. Advocacy Reports

Click here to view: Children’s Rights Service Annual Report 2013/2014

Click here to view: Pilot Project: Increasing the Participation of Young People in Child Protection Conferences Through Advocacy Support

End