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3.4.4 Role of Advocacy in Child Care Reviews


This chapter was slightly updated in June 2014.

Redbridge Children’s Rights Service offers advocacy support to Looked After Children and care leavers. Advocacy is led by the child and advocates work exclusively for the child - representing their wishes, NOT their best interest. The role of the advocate is to assist children to speak up for themselves or to speak on their behalf, in order that their views and opinions are heard, particularly in relation to decisions about their own lives. As such the Children’s Rights Advocate supports the child to actively participate in Child Care Review. This is done in a number of ways, for example:

Explaining the purpose of the Review to the child; encouraging them to participate by highlighting the opportunity this provides to raise issues of concern to them.

Offering information, advice and support to the child in order that they can make informed decisions and requests during the Review.

Assisting the child to clarify the issues they wish to raise in the Review and helping them to put the best case forward.

Raising issues of concern to the child, with the Independent Reviewing Officer prior to the Review.

Attending the Child Care Review with the child, in order to support them, assist them to speak out or to speak out on their behalf.

Non-instructed advocacy is available to children who are unable to request advocacy support, due to their young age or level of disability. In such circumstances the advocate will gather information from key people in the child’s life in order to speak out on the child’s behalf during the Child Care Review.

Redbridge Children’s Rights Service operates to the National Standards for the Provision of Children’s Advocacy Services, issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970

The role of the Children’s Rights Service fulfils the Councils general duty in relation to:

Children looked after by them, as set out in s.22 of the Children Act 1989 as amended by the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000.