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.
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.
The Council has to offer you an advocate if you have substantial difficulty understanding the 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.
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.
You can ask about getting an advocate by contacting Trafford Council adult social care.
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
There is no charge for an independent advocate.
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.
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.