Advocates help people to find out about rights and how to achieve their rights.
Advocacy supports people to think about how different choices can affect them.
Advocates support people to speak up in meetings, to write letters and to challenge decisions through complaints processes.
Not giving advice
Advocates keep our own views to ourselves and do not give advice about what people should or shouldn’t do.
Not making decisions
Advocates do not make decisions, these are made by people we support or by people responsible for decisions by law.
Part of the professionals role is to involve people in their care and support. In these situations each person will have a view of what is best for the person they support. Independent advocates do not have a view about what is best so we can truly support a person to speak for themselves.
Independent Advocacy skills
Advocates understand the difficulties often faced by the people we support.
Advocates help other professionals to see each person as an expert in their own life, their needs and their wishes.
Advocates help people to find out about support from services they might need to overcome problems in their lives.
Advocates spend time listening and understanding what the person is saying.
Being honest is important so that people do not think advocates can fix everything.
We stay loyal to people we support and do not try to change their mind.
Advocates ask people we support to give us instructions on what they want us to do.
Advocates stay confident when speaking up to professionals who may be used to making decisions for people in their care.
We do not take over just because we believe in rights. We only do or say what people we support want us to do or say.