Advocacy for Ethnic and Minority Groups
Asist provides a generic advocacy service to people from ethnic and minority groups in Stoke-on-Trent, and North Staffordshire.
Who can use the service?
The service can provide support to people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and/or mental health conditions. The service is available to adults who are from an ethnic or minority background and aged 18 years or over. There is no upper age limit.
What does the service do?
Advocates are allocated to work alongside people who are referred to the service and where there is a specific issue, or issues, that the person feels they need advocacy support to resolve. Generally, although not exclusively, advocates provide support to people who need assistance to understand their options and assert their views, choices and opinions in relation to services they are receiving from health and social care. An advocate can support people to:
• find information about their options
• discuss and understand their situation and the choices available to them
• speak up; by supporting them at meetings and reviews, including those with health and social care services and helping people to write letters or make calls.
Advocacy is free to access and confidential, however, we regret that the service is frequently busy and there is typically a waiting list for allocation of an advocate.
In some circumstances, as a result of their condition, it is not possible for the advocate to communicate with the person about their views, choices and opinions. In this situation, our advocate can still work with the person using non-instructed advocacy techniques. These involve testing any proposed decision against a defined set of quality-of-life principles. Asist is a leading practitioner in non-instructed advocacy and its Watching Brief policy is one of the nationally recognised approaches. Asist also offers training courses in non-instructed advocacy techniques. For more information see our Training page.
How do I access the service?
Anyone can make a referral to the service. Often people are referred by professionals in health and social care, however, we will happily accept referrals from carers, family or friends, and direct from the person who needs an advocate if they wish to self refer. Please note, however, that advocacy is a partnership with the person being supported and, where their condition allows, the person being referred must know about the referral and want to work with an advocate.