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'Someone to speak on your behalf'
Advocacy is having someone to speak on your behalf, they can help you express your views and wishes.
It enables people with physical/learning disabilities and those with mental health needs to make informed choices and decisions about their own health and social care.
An advocate can help with the following :
- Listen to your view and concerns
- Help explore your options and rights
- Provide information to help you make your decisions.
- Help you contact relevant people or contact them for you.
- Going to appointments with professionals to make sure your views are listened to and understood and that you understand what is being said
They will not :
- Give you their personal opinion.
- Solve problems or make decisions for you.
- Make judgements about you. The support of an advocate is often particularly useful in meetings when you might not feel confident in expressing yourself.
What are my legal rights to an advocate?
In some situations you might be legally entitled to get the support of an advocate. This is called ‘statutory advocacy’. There are three types of statutory advocates in England and Wales.
These are :
The Children's Rights Team make sure that you have opportunities to say what you think and have your views taken seriously when decisions are made about you, your life and your future.
If you are in the care of Kirklees Council then you have a legal right to an advocate.
If you would like to talk to an advocate then please contact us or complete the online form and we will get in touch with you. You could always ask someone else to do it for you.
These are specially trained advocates who can support certain patients under the Mental Health Act 1983. It is advocacy to support people facing decisions such as their treatments, medication or being detained under the Mental Health Act. One to one support from an Advocate with specialist knowledge of the Mental Health Act, either in a hospital or community setting.
These are specially trained advocates who can support certain people under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It is advocacy to support people who lack capacity to be involved in important decision about their lives, such as where they live or about serious medical treatment. Advocates have specialist knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act.
These can support certain people under the Care Act 2014 (in England) and the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act (in Wales).
Types of advocacy
Statutory advocacy means a person is legally entitled to an advocate because of their circumstances. This might be because they’re being treated under the Mental Health Act or because they lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions. It also covers certain people who are in the care of the NHS or local authority. Below we have listed providers of statutory advocacy.
Touchstone - Ask4advocacy
Ask4Advocacy - Touchstone, for more information see the Ask4Advocacy webpage.
This offers advocacy for a wide range of areas including:
Care Act Advocacy – Advocacy for those undergoing assessment, care planning or review under The Care Act and who would have ‘substantial difficulty’ engaging with the process. Professional and self-referrals.
Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) – for anyone who is sectioned under the Mental Health Act as either an inpatient or subject to a community section (guardianship, SCTO). Professional and self referral.
Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) – Where a decision, or review is to be undertaken under The Mental Capacity Act and there are no family or friends who are deemed appropriate to consult in the person’s ‘best interest’. Professional referrals only, a social worker or doctor depending upon the nature of the decision to be made.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Advocacy (DoLS) – Adult Social care (DoLS team) referrals only
Relevant Person’s Representatives (RPR) – to represent the wishes of those deprived of their liberty who may wish to challenge the deprivation or any aspect of it where no close family or friend are able to perform this role. Referral by local authority (DoLS team) only.
Community Mental Health Advocacy – for individuals wanting mental health advocacy support but who are not sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Self and Professional referrals accepted.
General Advocacy – for people who need support ensuring that their voices are heard and rights upheld due to a disability or disadvantage (Learning Disability, autism, physical or sensory issues for example). Self and professional referrals accepted.
Independent NHS Health Complaints Advocacy – for people who have a concern or complaint about an NHS service that they have received. Self referrals.
Self-advocacy is the ability to speak-up for yourself and the things that are important to you. Self-advocacy means you are able to ask for what you need and want and tell people about your thoughts and feelings but you may need help preparing yourself or gathering all the correct information you need. Below are some providers of self advocacy.
Kirklees Involvement Network
Kirklees Involvement Network (KIN) is a self-advocacy group for people with a learning disability from across Kirklees, SELF ADVOCACY means helping people to have their say. We get together regularly and run activities, projects and events. Our learning disability champions represent the views of the local learning disability community locally and nationally, they also deliver tailor made projects and training and run an Easy Read Checking Service.
You can find more information on the KIN homepage, including links to their social media pages.
Learning Disability Carers Voice
Learning Disability Carers Voice - an independent network of people caring for adults with learning disabilities in Kirklees (ldcarersvoice.co.uk) - An independent network of family carers for adults with learning disabilities in Kirklees.
Advocacy support for carers (carerscount.org.uk) - Advocacy support for carers who are unpaid, even if you get carers allowance.