Advocacy worker

Advocacy worker imageSecuring people’s rights, such as accessing services and ensure that people are involved in their own care and support planning.

What’s important is that you support individuals to express their views, wishes and choices regarding the services they receive.

Role overview

Support people with decisions around housing, disability living allowance, care planning, medical decisions, financial planning and hospital admissions. It can be a varied role and might include:

  • exploring options to help people make decisions about their own lives
  • assisting people to secure their rights to the help they need
  • enabling people to self advocate and represent themselves,
  • representing a person and  speaking up on their behalf
  • helping people access services

Skills and experience

The specific skills needed to work in this role include:

  • developing good working relationships and good communication skills with a range of people
  • research information and people’s rights
  • stand up and challenge decisions
  • good English skills to understand complex policies and procedures.

If you’re new to advocacy you might consider the Level 2 Award in Independent Advocacy. However you do not need this prior to starting work as an advocate – most people complete the qualification ‘on the job’ with the support of their employer once they are in post. 

Experience working in a similar role or with vulnerable adults can be useful. You can gain this experience through a work placement, from your personal life, through volunteering or as part of a traineeship or apprenticeship

Statutory independent advocate - is this section needed?

You might work as a statutory independent advocate for your local authority. Since 2002 local authorities MUST arrange access to advocacy for:

  • children who are receiving services under the Children Act 1989
  • people who lack capacity to make decisions about serious medical treatment or long term change of accommodation and have no-one appropriate to represent them (this is called Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy IMCA)
  • people who are affected by Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (this is called Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy IMCA DOLS)
  • people who are subject to the Mental Health Act 1983 (this is called Independent Mental Health Advocacy IMHA)
  • people thinking about using the NHS complaints procedure
  • people undergoing the care and support planning processes within the Care Act 2014 (this is called Independent Advocacy under the Care Act).

 

 

Opportunities

While in post you could do a vocational qualification such as a Diploma in Health and Social Care or continuing professional development qualification such as an award or certificate in activity provision.

Your employer may pay for you to complete these qualifications (via Workforce Development Fund), or you could apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for them yourself.

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