What is Independent Advocacy?
Independent advocacy is a free and confidential service for anyone with a health and social care need, living in Shropshire who is of working age.
Independent Advocacy can support you in many different aspects of your life.
The health and social care system for example can seem complex and confusing.
Understanding others and saying what you want can be stressful, especially if you need ongoing support from the services involved.
Independent advocates can support you to be involved in discussions about you, understand your choices, make your own decisions and explain to other people what you want.
Advocacy support can help you during care and support assessments, reviews and care planning and also with other more general appointments and meetings where you feel it would help you to understand other people and say what you want.
What can an advocate do?
An advocate can support you to speak up for yourself, or they might speak on your behalf if you need them to.
Advocates are independent from professionals, care workers and family and friends.
An advocate will listen to you carefully and can support you to;-
Understand what is happening.
Find and understand information.
Understand your options and make your own choices.
Tell people what you want.
Help you understand your rights and make sure these are respected.
Challenge decisions that have been made about you if you don’t agree with them.
Issue Based Advocacy
We provide 1:1 advocacy for individuals in Shropshire, who need help with specific issues. This type of advocacy helps people to sort out things that may be troubling them or things that they want to change. We will help individuals work with other people as well if that is what is needed.
Taking Part manages a team of Citizen Advocates who support people with learning difficulties.
A Citizen Advocate will build a trusting relationship, speak up for the rights as a citizen and will not judge you.
Group advocacy is provided in a number of places including residential homes, traditional day services and other similar settings. This is where we encourage people to speak up and share their living experiences and tell us what they think about changes. Taking Part also share information in these group advocacy sessions about what is happening locally, regionally and nationally.
Self Advocacy/Experts by Experience is where we support individuals to represent their peers and themselves in meetings and groups. Their voices are really powerful so it is important that their views and voices are listened to.
Taking Part have 3 qualified advocates who can provide 'Advocacy under the Care Act'. They achieved their Independent Advocacy Qualification in 2016. Advocacy under the Care Act is available for anyone who is having a Care Act assessment, review or the preparation and review of a care and support plan. It is also available for anyone undergoing a safeguarding enquiry or review. The person must have substantial difficulty in fully participate in this process themselves and have no other person who can support them.
Paid Relevant Person's Representative-Paid Reps
To live safely and free from the threat of harm, some clients who reside in a care home setting or are in hospital are sometimes placed under a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard order. This means that the individual may have their liberty (freedom) restricted so that they do not become a danger to themselves or others around them. If they don't have a family member or other person to ensure that they are happy living where they are, then they have a Paid Relevant Person's Representative appointed to visit them on a regular basis to make sure that the restrictions are fair and that they are happy.
How do I find out more and make a referral?
If you are unsure if an advocate is what you want or need, you can:
Telephone 01743 363399 and speak to one of our team,
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our website at www.takingpart.co.uk
Follow us on Twitter @TakingPart
Like and follow us on Facebook @Takingpart.