Coram Voice’s New ‘Non-Instructed Advocacy for Children and Young People’ Guide

At Coram Voice we have a wealth of experience of advocating on behalf of children and young people who are supported by Children’s Services, many of whom also have complex additional needs. We work extremely hard to ensure that our advocacy service is accessible to every young person who is eligible for our support.

A key part in this approach is making sure that our advocates are equipped to provide a voice to all young people, including those who are unable to communicate their wishes and feelings because of disability or due to being very young. That’s why we support our advocates to provide specialist Non-Instructed Advocacy.

To assist professionals and family members of young people who may need this support we have launched a new guide Non-Instructed Advocacy for Children and Young People. In the guide, we set out our criteria for providing Non-Instructed Advocacy and how our advocates approach this important work.

At the heart of our non-instructed model of advocacy is our commitment to providing a voice for the most vulnerable young people. For those who cannot speak out it is essential that we safeguard their rights and ensure that they are not unfairly disadvantaged.

Too many young people are being denied vital Non-Instructed Advocacy support with 41% of local authority provided advocacy services unable to assist younger children, and 28% unable to support disabled young people who need this approach[1]. That’s why Coram Voice is committed to addressing this via our Always Heard service which guarantees advocacy support for every child in care and care leaver who needs it. If you know of a child or young person unable to access Non-Instructed Advocacy please contact Always Heard now on 0808 800 5792.

Our Specialist Advocate for young people with disabilities also provides free training for professionals on Non-Instructed Advocacy for Children and Young People. Keep an eye out on our website and social media channels for news on our next training event, or contact learning.dev@coramvoice.org.uk.

[1] Helping children get the care experience they need, Children’s Commissioner 2016