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.
How can an advocate support me?
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.
When can an advocate support me?
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 CTO or subject to a Guardianship Order.
- If you have a complaint about NHS treatment or care.
Where can I go for independent advocacy in Staffordshire?
The stautory advocacy provider for adults across Staffordshire is currently Total Voice Staffordshire. They will support people to have their voices heard and rights respected. The service is free, independent and confidential.
Types of advocacy
Total Voice Staffordshire 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
NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Services) provide advocacy for the following groups of children and young people:
- Looked after children
- Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
- Children subject to a child protection plan
- Children with a learning disability and difficulties
- Children affected by emotional wellbeing and/ or mental health issues
This may sometimes include children and young people living or placed outside the Staffordshire Council boundaries. The service is available to children and young people from the above groups between the ages of five to 18 years, and up to the age of 25 for those with SEND, or for Care Leavers.
You can contact them, or you can ask someone to contact them for you by:
You can also download the NYAS app.
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.