Advocacy is about communicating needs, wishes and views. Some people are able to do this for themselves and make decisions about what is important in their lives. Other people may want some help to do this, to make sure their voice is heard.
What is an advocate?
An advocate is someone who provides advocacy support when you need it. An advocate is a person who might help you to:
- make choices about the support you need
- get information and advice to support you with making a decision
- tell people your wishes and views
- have more control in your life, by making choices about what is important to you. This might be about the support you need and the way you want the support delivered.
Does the Council have to give me an advocate?
Under the Care Act, the Council has to offer you an advocate if you have substantial difficulty understanding an assessment process. Substantial difficulty means that you cannot understand the assessment process and you do not have anyone else who can help. Substantial difficulty means struggling:
- understanding relevant information
- retaining information
- using or weighing up the information (as part of being involved in the key process)
- communicating views, wishes and feelings.
You do not have to struggle with all these things.
Who can be my advocate?
Your advocate might be someone you know. It could be your husband or wife, your son or daughter, mum or dad, or a friend. If there is no-one who can support you then the Council must arrange an independent advocate. An independent advocate is someone who does not work for Trafford Council.
How can an advocate support me?
There are many ways that an advocate can support you. An advocate might support you by:
- helping to create a support plan
- support you in meetings
- helping you with concerns about keeping safe.
How much does an independent advocate cost?
There is no charge for an independent advocate.
How to get in touch
The Community Screening Team is the first point of contact if you would like to know more about getting an advocate.
For other advocacy enquiries, or help to speak up, please contact Advocacy Focus.
Phone: 0300 323 0965
Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
There is a legal requirement to support people who are detained under parts of the Mental Health Act. Support is given by an advocate. The advocate can help people to understand the assessment process exercise their rights and ensure their involvement in treatment and care planning.
Find out more about Independent Mental Health Advocacy in Trafford.
Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)
There is a legal requirement to support people assessed as not having capacity to make decisions. This applies to decisions in people’s lives about:
- serious medical treatment;
- a change of accommodation;
- safeguarding adults from abuse;
- Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS);
- reviewing care.
Find out more about Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy in Trafford.
Ask Listen Do - self-advocacy for autistic people and people with a learning disability
NHS England are working with Speakup Self-advocacy and other partners in the health, social care and education sectors to develop resources for autistic people and people with learning disabilities who want to give feedback, raise a concern or make a complaint about a service.
The Ask Listen Do resource page has information for autistic people and people with learning disabilities, their families and carers, and blogs written by people with experience in advocating for people with disabilities.