Independent advocacy | Oxfordshire County Council

Independent advocacy

An independent advocate can support you to get the information and advice you need.

Have your say

We are holding three public meetings as part of our review of advocacy services. 

If you can’t come on the day but would like to have your say, please complete our short survey which will be available from the 4 October.

We need to enable you to be fully involved in planning your support and care and to make sure that you can get the information and advice you need

If you have no one else to help you with this such as a family member or friend, then one of the ways we may be able do this is by arranging for an independent advocate to get in touch with you.

What is an independent advocate?

An independent advocate is a person who will assist you to understand information, express your needs and wishes, secure your rights, represent your interests and enable you to be fully involved in any of the following processes.

  • a needs assessment
  • a carer’s assessment
  • the preparation of a care and support or support plan
  • a review of a care and support or support plan
  • a safeguarding enquiry or a safeguarding adult review
  • an appeal against a local authority decision

An independent advocate will not make decisions on your behalf but will support you in weighing up your options in order to help you make your own decisions.

Find information about independent advocacy near me

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Am I able to have an independent advocate?

If you have 'substantial difficulty' in being involved in any of the above processes, then we will consider whether an independent advocate is appropriate for you.

What do we mean by 'substantial difficulty'?

We will determine if you have substantial difficulty by considering if you are able to:

  • understand information about your care and support
  • remember information
  • use the information
  • communicate your views or feelings

Will you consider any other factors?

We will consider two other factors in order to determine if an independent advocate is appropriate for you:

  • Firstly we will consider whether we can make changes that will enable you to be involved, for example by providing information in an accessible format.
  • Secondly we will consider whether you have an 'appropriate person' who is willing to help you such as a family member or friend.

What is an 'appropriate person'?

An ‘appropriate person’ is someone who is able to support your involvement in the assessment, planning or review processes.

It cannot be someone who is already providing you with care or treatment in a professional capacity or on a paid basis (regardless of who employs or pays for them). That means it cannot be, for example, your GP, nurse, key worker or care and support worker.

What if I do not wish to be supported by a particular individual?

If you do not wish to be supported by a particular individual then we will respect your decision.

To find out more about independent advocacy, please contact us.

You can find out more about independent advocacy by visiting the website of Getting Heard (formerly Oxfordshire Advocacy) who offer this service across Oxfordshire.

Children and young people

Volunteer Independent Visiting and Advocacy (VIVA)

If you are under 25 and are unhappy or worried about any social care you are receiving, you can ask your carers, your social worker, or the Volunteer Independent Visiting and Advocacy (VIVA) for a chat.

They can provide you with an advocate - someone who will listen to you, make sure that others listen to you and take you seriously.

Young people with special educational needs (SEN) making decisions

Your rights about decision making and support to have your say.

Last reviewed
13 September 2016
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