Advocacy (supporting you to express your views or concerns)
Your voice matters
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Advocacy is about making sure that your views and opinions are being heard and listened too.
- It will give you support to help you make choices.
- It will help you to get people to understand your point of view.
- It can make it easier to get information that you need in a way that you understand.
- It is a free and confidential service.
- An advocate can support you by:
- Helping you to think through different choices and options available to you.
- Making your views and wishes clear.
- Providing independent and accurate information.
- Helping you to understand your rights.
- Supporting you to speak up for yourself.
- Speak up for you on your behalf if you are unable to do this for yourself.
An advocate can support you:
- During a local authority needs assessment, review or safeguarding process.
- If you are detained under the Mental Health Act, on a Community Treatment Order (CTO) or subject to a Guardianship Order.
- If you have a complaint about NHS treatment or care.
The statutory advocacy provider for adults across Staffordshire is currently Advocacy Services in Staffordshire (ASIST). They will support people to have their voices heard and rights respected. The service is free, independent and confidential.
ASIST will offer all statutory advocacy services. These are:
- Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) including Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and Paid Representatives
- Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
- Care Act Advocacy including Care Act Advocacy in Prisons
- Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)
If in doubt about what kind of advocacy you need for yourself or someone you support, contact the service. They can advise and work with you to get the appropriate advocate.
You can reach the service and make a referral by:
Advocacy for children and young people up to the age of 25
See the advocacy for children and young people with SEND page.
The providers above are free of charge to eligible people.
There are a number alternative and specialist advocacy services across the county on Staffordshire Connects. These may be more suited to your individual needs and personal circumstances.