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Advocacy

Lasting Power of Attorney

Please see GOV.UK for advice on how you can take control of someone's day to day affairs if they are no longer capable.

Advocacy supports individuals to take control and make decisions about their lives.

In Brent, VoiceAbility provides vulnerable adults and young people with disabilities (who are transitioning to Adult Social Services) with an independent advocate to support them.

The aim of the service is to support individuals to speak up for themselves and, where appropriate, act as a representative ensuring the individual maintains or achieves their rights as a citizen.

In the majority of cases, referrals will come directly from professionals to help facilitate people with their involvement in their own social care assessment, in the preparation and review of their care and support plan, as well as in adult safeguarding enquiries and reviews.

There remains a single point of access for referrals (apart from safeguarding referrals from the Safeguarding Team).

Individuals will not be charged to access the advocacy service.

Who is eligible?

Individuals are eligible to receive the service only where we and/or VoiceAbility considers that, without an independent advocate, the individual would experience substantial difficulty in doing one or more of the following.

  • Understanding relevant information.
  • Retaining that information.
  • Using or weighing that information as part of the process of being involved.
  • Communicating the individuals views, wishes or feelings (whether by talking, using sign language or any other means).

In addition, individuals are eligible to receive the service when we and/or VoiceAbility is satisfied that there is no an ‘appropriate person’ to represent and support the individual for the purpose of facilitating the individuals’ involvement.

This ‘appropriate person’ cannot already be providing care or treatment for the person in a professional capacity or on a paid basis (regardless of who employs or pays for them). That means it cannot be, for example, the person’s GP, nurse, key worker or care and support worker.

It is intended that advocates will decide the best way of supporting and representing the person they are advocating for, always with regard to the wellbeing and interest (including their views, beliefs and wishes) of the person concerned. This may involve creative approaches, for example, supporting someone to show film to help explain their needs, wishes or preferences.

What do VoiceAbility provide?

VoiceAbility will provide:

  • an independent, confidential, high quality professional advocacy service that is short term and issue resolution based
  • one to one support that recognises the specific needs of their customers (ability, disability, race, culture, sexuality, age, gender)
  • appropriate experienced and qualified advocates (paid or volunteers) that put the wishes and view of their customers first and treat them with respect courtesy and dignity
  • support for individuals to identify and represent their own concerns directly to all relevant bodies. By working co-operatively with other agencies, both statutory and voluntary providing services
  • information on local services and signposting to other services where appropriate
  • raised awareness with providers and commissioners about particular issues faced by customers particularly those who may face difficulties engaging with services.