Always Heard Report 2022

We have today (30 March 2022) released our Always Heard Report 2022 which gives an overview of how the service has performed in the last year and the barriers faced by children and young people in care who have accessed the service.

We are the only national service that provides the No Child Turned Away advocacy guarantee. Our team has worked incredibly hard to maintain this guarantee throughout last year by:

  • Ensuring every young person who contacts us looking for advocacy gets an advocate. We do this by supporting young people to access their local advocacy service. If young people’s local service cannot help we give them an Always Heard advocate so they get the support they need.
  • Bringing about wider change to the systemic barriers to access to advocacy.
  • Sharing the voice and experience of young people who face barriers to advocacy with their local authorities.
  • Supporting and challenge local authorities to put in place the advocacy service their young people are entitled to.
  • Sharing information about barriers to advocacy with the Department for Education, Ofsted and the Children’s Commissioner to help them address these.

In the last year  we have continued to find that too many young people are being denied the local independent advocacy they are entitled to. We have increased our work with young people on the edges of care denied the support they need. This includes children seeking asylum who are being disbelieved and treated as adults through to children who are homeless.

Despite the challenge of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the difference we made in 2021 includes:

  • Supporting more children and young people to access advocacy from their local advocacy services. Helped these services reach more children and young people.
  • Provided more children and young people with direct Safety Net advocacy.
  • Helping some of the most vulnerable and excluded children get the care and stability they needed.
  • Promoted advocacy and challenged local authorities to focus on the need to have a proper advocacy service in place for the children and young people who need their care.
  • Amplified the voice of children and young people by sharing local authority data and young people’s stories with Ofsted, the Department for Education, and the Children’s Commissioner to help them target local issues and tackle national problems.