Some people, when they need health or social care assistance, feel confused and uncertain about their choices and how to make them.
Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need.
Advocates and advocacy schemes work in partnership with the people they support to:-
- help you contact services
- explain decisions
- help you to put your views across
A member of your family can do this, or a friend, or you can talk in confidence to an independent Advocate.
An Advocate Should:
- Agree with you the best place to meet
- Listen to what you have to say
- Help YOU say how YOU feel and what YOU want or need
- Speak or act on your behalf
- Care about your rights, wishes and feelings
- Keep confidential information you ask them to (there may be exceptions, particularly regarding the safety of children)
- Pass to you any information given to them concerning you
- Give you information about how they will work with you and what to do if you are unhappy
An Advocate Should Not:
- Tell you what to do or make decisions for you
- Speak to others about you without your knowledge or consent
- Keep from you any information passed to them about you
There are many advocacy services which operate both locally and nationally. Some charge for their services, whilst others provide support free of charge.