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3.4.3 Role of Advocacy in Dispute Resolution (S. 118 Protocol)

RELATED CHAPTER

Advocacy Escalation Protocol

AMENDMENT

This chapter was amended in June 2014. See also the Advocacy Escalation Protocol for information about timescales for resolution of issues.


Role of Advocacy in S. 118 Protocol, Adoption and Children Act (2002)

Introduction

Redbridge Children and Families Service is committed to ensuring that children and young people’s voices are heard, their wishes and views actively sought and taken account of.

As part of this commitment, Redbridge has a Children’s Rights Service, which promotes and protects the rights of children and young people and provides an advocate to work directly with children and young people.

Role of the Advocate

  • Speaking up for children and empower children to speak up for themselves;
  • Championing the rights and needs of the child. Ensuring that their views and opinions are heard, particularly in relation to decisions about their own lives;
  • Helping the child to understand what is happening, by giving information in an age appropriate and child friendly manner;
  • Standing alongside the child, offering support, reassurance and encouragement.

Some Key Points for the Independent Reviewing Officer

  • If an advocate is engaged in supporting a child subject to s118, it is essential that the advocate is kept fully informed of all developments;
  • Advocacy is led by the child and the advocate works exclusively for the child - representing their wishes, not necessarily their best interest.

Helping the Child to Understand Advocacy

The I.R.O. should ensure that the child is aware of their right to advocacy support and that they understand what advocacy is and how this might be helpful to them.

Offer the child copies of the following advocacy leaflets:

If a child agrees to advocacy support the I.R.O. should establish what method of contact the child prefers i.e:

  • For the I.R.O. or a nominated adult to contact the advocate on the child’s behalf;
  • For the child to make direct contact themselves.

If the child is unsure the IRO should suggest they ask the advocate to meet the child to talk through the benefits of advocacy.

Advocates Contact Details

Name Janet Edwards
Address Room 247, 2nd Floor,
Ley Street House,
497 - 499 Ley Street,
Ilford, Essex. IG2 7QX
Telephone External: 020 8708 5811 Internal: 85811
E-mail janet.edwards@redbridge.gov.uk

Operational Standards

The Children’s Rights Service operates to the standards laid down in the National Standards for the Provision of Children’s Advocacy Services (November 2002).

End