Advocacy at Sunfield

Advocacy is all about ensuring that the voice of a young person is central in decisions that are taken around them. It also makes sure that children and young people are aware of their rights and entitlements – which can change and evolve at different times of their life. Coram Voice provide advocacy support to children and young people who receive, or are entitled to, support from the local authority under the Children Act 1989. Our specially trained advocates have gained expertise in providing advocacy support for children and young people with complex needs. They receive regular training and updates in all advocacy matters, with a focus on non-instructed advocacy, transition support, and application of the Mental Capacity Act.

Coram Voice provide a Visiting Advocacy service for both residential and day students at Sunfield. Visiting regularly (monthly to each home, and fortnightly during term time to day students) allows advocates to get to know the young people at Sunfield well. This means that as and when any concerns or questions which may benefit from advocacy support arise for that young person, the advocate is well placed to work with the young person. The advocate will work with the young person wherever possible to obtain their wishes and feelings and share these with the professionals around them. Where it is appropriate they will engage the support of other professionals to assist with communication. Where this is not possible, or where it is not appropriate for example due to causing increasing anxiety, advocates will use a combination of information available – from their own observations, and from information obtained from those who know the young person best – to inform an independent review of what the young person would like, and/or ensuring that their rights are upheld.

Coram Voice advocates are independent of all professionals and the family. They do not give a view on what is in the child or young person’s best interests – but will look to provide an opportunity for the young person’s voice to be central in the decisions that are made. They work collaboratively and constructively with those around the child / young person. Coram Voice hold regular review meetings with managers at Sunfield to allow for effective information to be shared from the visiting advocacy work that takes place.

If a young person may benefit from ongoing advocacy support outside of the general visits that take place, Coram Voice advocates will work in partnership with Sunfield to agree how to move forward in the best way for the young person. This could include provision of advocacy support, signposting to alternative information / services, or referral to local authority advocacy provider.

To find out more about the advocacy services Coram Voice provide, you can visit our website www.coramvoice.org.uk

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