For children the various meetings and other formal structures that come with being in care (e.g. making a complaint) can often be daunting, particularly with everything being about about them the whole time. An advocate can be a useful intermediary for the child, helping them to partake in meetings (for example) and get their voice heard without having to stand up in front of a room full of adults. This page looks at the process of securing an advocate for a child.

Making sure that the child feels able to contribute about how they are feeling and what they would like to happen is a responsibility on all agencies involved with the child.

The overall responsibility for checking that a child understands how an advocate could help and that it is their right to have one rests with the Independent Reviewing Officers.

What is an advocate?

An advocate is a person who can help a child to say what they do and do not like, or if they disagree with a decision that affects them.

Advocates are independent of the process and will keep what the child tells them confidential unless the child has given prior agreement for it to be shared or they are deemed to be at risk of harm.

***Localisation required as to how to refer for an advocate, who to contact, etc ... ***