Advocacy for different people. Advocacy ensures a voice for people who are unable or unwilling to speak for themselves or are prevented from doing so because of their marginalised position in our society.
Anyone who is living in or receiving support services has thoughts, opinions, needs, wishes and desires that they have a right to know are being heard. This becomes particularly true when there are difficulties, Safeguarding concerns, complaints new assessments or a change in service or service provider. Although they may have the right to a statutory advocate that is not always what the adult wants and/or they don’t meet the criteria.
Many adults who have care and support needs are well able to advocate for themselves and only need support and encouragement to do so, this becomes ‘supported self advocacy’.
For anyone who has difficulty in communicating with others or understanding them it is their right to have people spend the extra time with them to ensure they are heard and understood and their needs, wishes and preferences considered.
Syed & Quinn Ltd can provide an advocate who will get to know the individual, to understand their form of communication and to develop an open trusting relationship to enable that communication.
Sometimes starting with advocacy groups enables the ‘getting to know each other’ process and can have additional strength with a group of people have some part of their identity in common.
On occasion advocacy is about observation and coming to understand unconscious communication and behavioural indicators of wishes, needs and preferences.
It is not always possible for an advocate to be a member of staff who regularly works with the adult. This is because they may not have time or they may be too involved to see the issues or there may be ‘conflicts of interest’. An independent advocate is therefore brought in.
An advocate may be needed to look at practical issues such as benefits, future accommodation or service requirements and contracts, but often it is day to day issues.