An advocate can support you to get your views and wishes heard on important decisions that affect you. There is not an absolute legal right to an advocate but the Children Act 1989 gives the right to children in care and others in certain circumstances, such as vulnerable children and young people in need.
See below to find out more about rights and advocacy and what independent support may be available to you.
Services in Warwickshire
Targeted Youth Support
The Targeted Youth Support team run the Warwickshire Youth Council and Youth Forums to represent the voice of young people in Warwickshire.
Coventry and Warwickshire Children’s Rights Service
This service is run by Barnardos and offers the following services to children in care and those who are leaving care as well as to young people who are being supported by social services, or are homeless and aged 16-17, or any young person who would like to make a complaint:
- An advocate who will represent your wishes and feelings, help you understand the decisions being made about you and aim to pursue the outcomes you want. You can request an advocate over the phone or a referral can be made on your behalf by anyone who has your consent to do so.
- A volunteer befriender or Independent Visitor, who will get to know you and develop a long-term friendship to help you build your confidence in the community and share your interests.
Barnardos also offers the following support services to families who are experiencing increased difficulties due to Covid-19:
- See, Hear, Respond Support Hub - resources, information and tools for parents and carers, children and young people and professionals
- Boloh - a dedicated helpline for Black and Asian families - parents, carers and young people - who are affected in any way by Covid-19
This service supports people in Warwickshire and Coventry to have their voice heard and their rights respected. The service provides free, independent and confidential advocacy for the following:
- Independent Mental Health Advocacy
- NHS Complaints Advocacy
- General Health Advocacy
- Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy
- Care Act Advocacy
A professional can refer an individual using an online form. For self-referrals, there is a telephone number or an online self-referral form (you will need to be able to print it off and post it).
My Rights to Access Healthcare
Healthwatch Warwickshire has created this project to help individuals who are homeless to get healthcare when they need it. Get information and a Your Rights Card from your local homeless agency or community group or call Healthwatch on 01926 422823.
Making Space Warwickshire Co-production Service
Warwickshire’s mental health co-production service is all about giving you a voice and the chance to use your experience to influence services in Warwickshire. If you are 18 or over, have used mental health services or experienced poor mental wellbeing and want to get involved in decisions that are being made, learn new skills and meet new people then find out how to join and get involved.
Warwickshire Community Wellbeing
This service supports people in Warwickshire who are aged 16+ with a learning disability and/or autism to build links and a support network through the community.
Warwickshire Victim Support
Warwickshire Victim Support provides emotional and practical help to all children and young people who have been affected by crime in Warwickshire. You can contact the team by telephone, chat or through drop-in sessions. You don’t need to have reported the crime to the police.
This is a free, independent and confidential service for young people aged 16-25 who have special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) and for parents of children aged up to 25 who have special educational needs or disability. Young people 16 and over can speak with an adviser independently or with their parent/carer.