Advocacy is about ensuring that a persons views are communicated and heard. There is sometimes a difficulty for people from many different backgrounds and even abilities to be able to establish what their rights are and then asserting them in the professional arena with people making decisions about their lives.
Advocates can help you to understand what your rights are and make sure you are given the opportunity to have your opinions taken into account when decisions are being made in relation to you or someone you care for or know.
Advocates are not there to make decisions, choices or advise you they are there to help you make sure you have the information you need to make your mind up on which options to take. Advocate are there to be on your side through what ever process or issues you are going through and are non-judgmental in relation to what actions you want to take.
Our advocacy service is truly independent as we are not governed by the restrictions of statutory advocacy services (IMHA, IMCA, Independent Care Act Advocacy) who are limited in who they can work with and what they will do,
We aim to help those who are not able to access these advocacy service because they don't meet their eligibility criteria to work with you. We have experience of working in all these areas with a particular focus on community care (Care Act), Mental Health and with people from an ethnic minority background.
The service we provide is not influenced by anyone other than the person we are advocating and working for.
We are led by our clients needs and are fully instructed by you and make sure you have as much information about your case as we can.
The service we provide will initially try and resolve any issue with services that you have in an amicable way so that the issue is resolved with as little stress and anxiety caused to you as possible.
Unfortunately there may be times when this is not possible and in these circumstances there may be a more formal and even adversarial approach employed in resolving issues.
We have access to a wide ranging and experienced support network we can call on to provide us with additional information where required.
Advocacy Service will:
Actions that this will be achieved through include:
This list is not exhaustive.
Culturally Appropriate Advocacy is something that has been acknowledged by the Review of the Mental Health Act and Government White Paper. However this is an area that has been around for many years prior to this stage in proceedings and something we have delivered in relation to statutory advocacy which was incorporated in the IMHA work previously done and the other advocacy work we do.
The aim of this service is to help our clients to navigate the system they are working within as there are obviously different systems in different countries and cultures which differ from the systems in this country.
There are many different issues that arise for people from ethnic minorities who need services and the barriers are not just practical like language, which can be broken down further than not speaking English but also that there aren't words that can be directly translated into other languages and that English concepts are not understood in other countries or cultures.
There are many issues around the way the system works with ethnic minorities and they are manifested in negatively disproportionate disadvantages experienced by people in the system leading to worse outcomes for these people.
One of our aims is to help services, organisations and individuals to understand this and make provision for these differences. We try and do this in an informative way and through education but we are here to challenge inappropriate treatment and oppressive practice where this appears to be the case.
Our principals of advocacy remain the same as the other advocacy we provide and as with that the focus is based on the needs of the individual client. We are instructed the same way but also explain to our clients that their cultural needs are taken into account, well thats the basis the conversation starts from.