Advocacy is about supporting disabled people, older people and others who may be vulnerable.
Advocacy can be very important if you need to start, change or stop something in your life. These can be changes to social care services or education which may affect you.
It’s important your voice is heard and you understand your rights so you have more choices and control in your life.
An advocate is a trusted adult who is qualified to support you.
These services are usually free and independent.
You can tell your Advocate anything you want and they will keep it private; unless you agree to them sharing this, or you say something that makes them think that you or another person may be harmed or at risk of harm.
If someone becomes your Advocate they will:
- Explain things to you so that you can make choices
- Take time to listen to your wishes and feelings
- Speaking up for you and attend meetings with you, if you want them to.
- Get the information you need so that you can make the right choices
- Talk to other people who might be able to help you, if you are happy for them to do this.
- Help professionals to understand what you want and help you to understand what they do.
An advocate will not:
- Tell you what choices or decisions to make.
- Make a Complaint for you but will support you if you need to make a complaint
- Support you to get out and about or be your friend.
- Give you advice about the law, unless they are Legal Advocates.