What is Independent Advocacy?

We all need an advocate at some point in our lives. It helps to have someone around to make a difficult phone call, someone who can write a letter or someone to go with you to a difficult meeting.

In many cases, the advocate is a friend or a family member; in others it is a teacher, nurse or social worker. This is fine, but what if we don’t have any of these people around? Or, what if the problem relates in some way to your family, teacher, nurse or social worker. This is where independent advocacy can help. This is when people are supported to speak up for themselves by a person who is only there for them and has no ties to the other agencies or people in their lives.

The Advocacy Project employs staff to act as independent advocates for people who have difficulty speaking up. The advocates are well trained and supported by the Project. They are all subject to checks under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme and are bound by a number of policies and procedures that include things like confidentiality and adult and child protection.

Unfortunately, independent advocates cannot guarantee results but they can ensure that a person’s voice is heard and considered in all situations. Neither are advocates a substitute for other services like health or social care, welfare rights, solicitors etc.

You can find out more about independent advocacy at the SIAA’s website.

The Independent Advocacy we provide is:

“My Advocacy Worker was invaluable during my stay in hospital.  She was competent, friendly, caring and gave positive support to myself and my named person. Thank you.”

Key legislation

All our workers are knowledgable in relation to health and social care legislation, including:

  • Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003
  • Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000
  • Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007

We adhere to the SIAA’s Principles and Standards and Code of Practice for Independent Advocacy.

Safeguarding Role

Some people are unable to share their wishes and views because of complex communication issues, long term illness or disability. In situations where people are unable to instruct, independent advocacy still plays a vital role in protecting their rights.

The Advocacy Project has operating procedures for working with people who lack capacity which adhere to the SIAA’s Non-Instructed Advocacy Guidelines.

 

 

Engagement & Involvement

Our Engagement & Involvement Service supports people who use services to have a voice regarding the services they receive, using the overarching principles of independent advocacy.