Advocacy Services and Independent Visitors Scheme

Advocacy Services

Advocacy Services can help you to express your views and making sure that these views are taken seriously. 
An advocacy service will provide you with an independent advocate when situations occur that need to be mediated and a trained professional can advocate on your behalf, ensuring your rights are respected and that your views and wishes are heard. 

An advocate: 

  • will help you find out about your rights, so that you can make up your own mind about what you want to happen. 
  • will help you explain your views and will make sure that people listen to you. 
  • can speak with those who are supporting you, like social workers, teachers or family, to help make sure that you are involved in any plans being made about you.
  • can help you to make a complaint and support you through the process, if you want this.

You can access Advocacy Services as a child in care or as a care experienced young person. You can also access advocacy services if you are on a Child Protection Plan. 

If you would like to speak to an advocate, you can ask your Social Worker to refer you, or you can self-refer directly: 

Independent Visitors 

Action for Children also have an Independent Visitors Scheme for children and young people aged 5 to 18 years where they will match you with an Independent Visitor.  

Independent Visitors are unpaid volunteers who will: 

  • meet with you at least once a month to share activities, spend time one-to-one and have fun. 
  • ideally meet with you for a minimum of two years, with the hope that you will benefit from a supportive, reliable and fun confidential relationship with an adult who is independent from the professionals around you. 

The activities will be bespoke to your wishes and feelings with the aim of providing access to stimulating positive opportunities, supporting new hobbies and interests, and offering ongoing support. 

If you would like an Independent Visitor, you can ask your Social Worker or Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) to make a referral on your behalf.