What is advocacy? Can it help me?
An advocate listens to your views and concerns, helps you explore your options, and supports you to communicate your wishes in meetings and appointments. They won’t make decisions for you, but they will ensure you have all the information you need. They will also make sure meetings cover everything you want raised, that you get to ask questions, and afterwards that you understand the outcome.
Everyone finds it difficult to get their point across sometimes. It can be intimidating to speak up in a room full of professionals – and even if that isn’t usually a problem, emotion or stress can make it harder. Advocates can work with you or your young person for a better chance of getting your voice heard in discussions that affect you. Some are trained to support people with little or no speech to identify and communicate their wishes.
How can I find out about opportunities where I live?
There isn’t an easy answer because things often change so fast it’s difficult for organisations to keep lists up to date.
Councils have a duty to share information, so check their website or call social services to ask if they can help you find the right opportunities.
One of the best ways can be word of mouth, so keeping in touch with other parents and carers through support groups or online can help. You can ask if there’s something specific you’re looking for.