Advocacy for children and young people

Cumbria County Council commissions its Advocacy Services for children and young people from the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS)

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is about getting something stopped, started or changed.

It is about empowering children and young people to make sure their rights are respected and their views and wishes are heard and represented to decision makers at all times.

What does an Advocacy Service provide?

Advocacy Services provide independent and confidential:

  • Information
  • Signposting
  • Advocacy
  • Representation
  • Support
  • Legal services

Advocates are professionals who have experience of working with children and have undertaken accredited Advocacy training.

Who can have an Advocate?

A child or young person can have help from an Advocate if they are:

  • 'Looked after'
  • Subject to a Child Protection Plan
  • A Care Leaver
  • Disabled or 'in need'

When can a young person have an advocate?

A young person can have help from an Advocate when they feel they are not being listened to about any issue; such as at a CLA Review, at a Child Protection Conference of Review; at a Family Group Conference or if they wish to make a complaint.

What can Advocates do?

Advocates are appointed to help a child or young person by:

  • Talking to them and empowering them to sort an issue out by themselves.
  • Attending meetings with the young person
  • Write letters for or with them
  • Meet professionals for them if they don't wish to do this themselves
  • Provide information or direct the young person to the relevant professionals

Case study (PDF 20KB)