Publication - Advice and guidance

Advocacy in the children's hearings system - national practice model: guidance

Published: 31 Mar 2020

National practice model for children's advocacy in the children’s hearings system.

68 page PDF

352.7 kB

68 page PDF

352.7 kB

Contents
Advocacy in the children's hearings system - national practice model: guidance
Quality Assurance

68 page PDF

352.7 kB

Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance Model

The Quality Assurance Model for the National Practice Model and the Service Delivery Model sets out the overarching approach to ensuring advocacy within the Children’s Hearings System is of high quality.

Quality assurance is a process of systematic, planned, regular and reflective assessment of a service or a process. As such, it is fundamental in supporting learning and continuous improvement as it helps improve outcomes, identify areas of strengths and areas for development within practice, policy and strategy.

The Quality Assurance Model is rooted in the National Practice Model, developed in partnership young people with experience of the Children’s Hearings System and key stakeholders from across Scotland.

The Quality Assurance Model aims to:

  • Establish the quality of outputs for advocacy within the Children’s Hearings System for:
    • Children and young people
    • Commissioners
    • Advocacy organisations
  • Assess to what degree advocacy is:
    • accessible to all who need it
    • child-centred
    • effective within the Children’s Hearings System
  • Provide learning mechanisms to improve advocacy in the Children’s Hearings System.
  • Ensure advocacy in the Children’s Hearings System is of consistent quality across Scotland.
  • Monitor performance of advocacy provision at local level within the Children’s Hearings System.

The Quality Assurance approach incorporates three functions: Defining, Measuring and Improving Quality.

Defining

Defining quality includes setting expectations or standards of quality practice engrained in the principles - that is, broad statements of advocacy within the Children’s Hearings System.

Measuring

Measuring quality consists of quantifying the level of performance or compliance against agreed standards or expectations. This process requires determining performance indicators which should be specific, reliable, consistent, proportionate and valid, and directly related to the standards. Indicators measure how well the outcome or process has been achieved.

Improving

Improving quality includes an ongoing assessment of collected data in order to identify gaps in the quality of work delivered.

PDSA

This process should be based on the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) quality improvement method which focuses on change, translating ideas into actions and ultimately improving the quality of service provided.

Plan-Do-Study-Act
Act - create an action plan, Plan - change that needs to be implemented, Do - carry out the plan, Study - analyse evidence of before and after change

The PDSA concept is central to many quality improvement approaches, including lean, sigma and quality management. PDSA, and the Quality Assurance approach in particular, gleans information from a variety of sources and stakeholders, predominantly directly from children and young people who have experienced advocacy within the Children’s Hearings System.

The Quality Assurance Model covers organisational, policy, practice and advocacy process and outcome activities and is:

  • Evidence-based and rooted in the views and experiences of children and young people who do or could access advocacy.
  • Child- and young person-centred.
  • Fair and proportionate to ensure the advocacy relationship is not undermined by onerous feedback processes.
  • Imaginative and participative.
  • Ethical.

The quality assurance model will establish the quality of advocacy within the Children’s Hearings System through:

  • Review of organisational policies and procedures.
  • Review of relevant reports, documents and plans.
  • Assessment of practice and its evidence.
  • Direct involvement of key stakeholders, namely children and young people.
  • Review of organisational and inter-organisation structures.

Key messages of effective quality assurance when delivering advocacy within the Children’s Hearings System are:

  • Advocacy organisations should clearly define their role so that children and young people understand what their involvement entails.
  • Advocacy organisations should adopt a person-centred approach.
  • Advocacy organisations should be independent of commissioners and external and internal influencers.
  • Advocacy should be co-produced with children and young people.
  • Advocacy organisations should ensure they reach and meet diverse needs.
  • Advocacy workers should be knowledgeable and experienced in human rights.
  • Outcomes of advocacy should be recorded and monitored.

This Quality Assurance Model consists of:

Examples of evidence supporting the National Practice Model

Principle 1: Advocacy puts the child or young person first.

Standard 1.1

Advocacy workers will listen to children and young people to understand what matters to them, help them explore their options and have their voice heard.

Standard 1.2

Advocacy workers will only work for and on behalf of the child or young person, meaning the child or young person is in charge of how and with whom their views are shared.

Outcome 1.1

The child or young person feels listened to. The child or a young person is able to express to their advocacy worker what matters to them. The child or a young person has explored their options and had their voice heard.

Outcome 1.2

The child or young person knows that their advocacy worker works only for them. The advocacy worker will only share what the young person wishes to be shared.

Examples of Evidence

Advocacy issues

Analysis of complaints

Complaints system

Consent policy in place

Documented policies explaining how organisation deliver advocacy (peer, systemic, etc)

Ethical guidelines

Evidence of consent being informed and meaningful

Evidence of children and young people being able to self-advocacy worker

Evidence of how feedback from children and young people is used to improve advocacy

Evidence of ongoing evaluation of advocacy

Feedback from children and young people about advocacy workers

Induction policies

Information about advocacy available in various formats

Involvement of young people in decision-making

Non-discriminatory and cultural awareness training undertaken

Peer and individual practice observations

Policies on confidentiality and personal information

Policies related to non-instructed advocacy

Policies up-to-date and in line with legislation

Principle 2: Advocacy seeks to understand and explain what is going on.

Standard 2.1

Advocacy workers will have detailed knowledge of children's rights and entitlements.

Standard 2.2

Advocacy workers will understand the law and procedures that apply to the Children’s Hearings System and to other care and justice procedures as they apply to young people. They will be able to help children and young people understand what is happening and explore their options.

Standard 2.3

Advocacy workers will speak to relevant professionals and carers on behalf of the child or young person with their permission, to help them get answers to any questions or concerns they have.

Outcome 2.1

The child or young person feels they are better informed about their rights and entitlements.

Outcome 2.2

The child or young person has a better understanding of the Children’s Hearings System as it relates to their life. They better understand their options and rights within the Children’s Hearings System.

Outcome 2.3

The child or young person feels supported in seeking answers to the questions that matter to them.

Examples of evidence

Action plans based on feedback from children and young people

Analysis of complaints

Code of practice

Consent policy in place

Consistency of staff in advocacy

Children and young people satisfaction with the advocacy support provided

Data protection policy

Documented policies explaining how organisation deliver advocacy (peer, systemic, etc.)

Ethical guidelines

Evidence of consent being informed and meaningful

Evidence of diversity of children and young people

Evidence of further professional development of advocacy workers

Evidence of how feedback from children and young people is used to improve advocacy

Evidence of multiagency work

Evidence of outcomes for children and young people

Evidence of advocacy workers knowledge about human rights

Induction policies

Individual and group supervision

Involvement of young people in decision-making

Non-discriminatory and cultural awareness training undertaken

Peer and individual observations

Policies on information sharing

Policies on confidentiality and personal information

Policies related to non-instructed advocacy

Policies up-to-date and in line with legislation

Principle 3: Advocacy workers only work for the child or young person.

Standard 3.1

Advocacy workers will only work on behalf of children and young people. They will only share information with other people with permission from the child or young person, unless someone is at risk of harm.

Standard 3.2

Advocacy workers will not give their own or anyone else’s views or opinions while advocating for the child or young person, they will only represent the child or young person’s wishes.

Standard 3.3

Advocacy workers will not be influenced by anyone or anything else while they are supporting the child or young person.

Outcome 3.1

The child or young person trusts that the advocacy worker only works for them and understands confidentiality of the advocacy relationship.

Outcome 3.2

The child or young person feels supported in expressing their views. The child or young person knows the advocacy worker is only there to support them.

Outcome 3.3

The child or young person knows that their advocacy worker is not influenced by the wishes of others and focuses solely on their views.

Examples of evidence

Analysis of advocacy issues faced by children and young people

Analysis of referrals

Appraisal system in place

First person testimony – Case study

Barriers faced and ways of addressing them

Board meeting minutes

Child Protection policy

Code of practice

Complaints system

Consent policy in place

Diverse communication resources

Documented policies explaining how organisation deliver advocacy (peer, systemic, etc)

Ethical guidelines

Evidence of consent being informed and meaningful

Evidence of children and young people being able to self-advocacy worker

Evidence of children and young people understanding complaints policy

Evidence of how feedback from children and young people is used to improve advocacy

Evidence of multiagency work

Evidence of ongoing evaluation of advocacy

Evidence of outcomes for children and young people

Evidence of representative take-up of advocacy within the Children’s Hearings System

Evidence of staff knowledge about human rights

Evidence of systemic change based on children and young people advocacy issues

External accreditation

Feedback from children and young people on how they supported they feel in decision-making processes

Induction policies

Individual and group supervision

Information about advocacy available in various formats

Involvement of young people in decision-making

Membership of Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance(SIAA)

Memorandum of Association

Non-discriminatory and cultural awareness training undertaken

Observations

Policies on information sharing

Policies on confidentiality and personal information

Policies related to non-instructed advocacy

Policies up-to-date and in line with legislation

Recruitment policies

Staff reporting understanding of relevant policies

Secure advocacy database/recording system in place

Spot checks

Strategic and operational plan

Principle 4: Advocacy is for all children and young people who wish to take up the offer of Advocacy.

Standard 4.1

Advocacy workers will liaise with carers and other professionals already working with children and young people to ensure that they are sensitive to the individual child or young person’s needs.

Standard 4.2

Advocacy workers will work with children and young people of all backgrounds and respect the identify, culture and preferences of all children and young people and treat them fairly and equally.

Outcome 4.1

The child or young person's individual needs have shaped the way they receive advocacy and they have been appropriately supported by their carers and professionals in the advocacy process.

Outcome 4.2

Children and young people of all backgrounds have access to advocacy. The child or young person feels that they have been treated equally and with respect throughout their advocacy relationship.

Examples of evidence

Action plans based on feedback from children and young people

Analysis of complaints

Barriers faced and ways of addressing them

Code of practice

Consistency of staff in advocacy

Children and young people satisfaction with the way advocacy was explained to them

Ethical guidelines

Evidence of diversity of children and young people

Evidence of further professional development

Evidence of how feedback from children and young people is used to improve advocacy

Evidence of multiagency work

Evidence of representative take-up of advocacy within the Children’s Hearings System

Evidence of staff knowledge about human rights

Feedback from children and young people about advocacy workers

Information about advocacy available in various formats

Involvement of young people in decision-making

Non-discriminatory and cultural awareness training undertaken

Non-discriminatory policies in place

Observations

Policies for information sharing

Policies on confidentiality and personal information

Policies related to non-instructed advocacy

Policies up-to-date and in line with legislation

Self-assessment tool

Self-assessment tool is expected to be completed by advocacy organisations and returned to the management organisation within one month of the end of financial year.

The advocacy organisation should score itself against each outcome based on the indicators.

For each area scored 0 or 1, the advocacy organisation needs to prepare a SMART plan to address areas for improvement.

Assessment scored 0 should be prioritised.

Assessment scored 2 should be brought to the attention of the management organisation to share good practice across Scotland.

Principle 1: Advocacy puts the child or young person first.
Standard Assessment (0-not met, 1-attention needed, 2- outcome met) Indicator/
Evidence
Action plan based on evidence
Standard 1.1

Advocacy workers will listen to children and young people to understand what matters to them, help them explore their options and have their voice heard.
Standard 1.2

Advocacy workers will only work for and on behalf of the child or young person, meaning the child or young person is in charge of how and with whom their views are shared.
Principle 2: Advocacy seeks to understand and explain what is going on.
Standard Assessment (0-not met, 1-attention needed, 2- outcome met) Indicator/ Evidence Action plan based on evidence
Standard 2.1
Advocacy workers will have detailed knowledge of children's rights and entitlements.
Standard 2.2
Advocacy workers will understand the law and procedures that apply to the Children’s Hearings System and to other care and justice procedures as they apply to young people. They will be able to help children and young people understand what is happening and explore their options.
Standard 2.3
Advocacy workers will speak to relevant professionals and carers on behalf of the child or young person with their permission, to help them get answers to any questions or concerns they have.
Principle 3: Advocacy workers only work for the child or young person.
Standard Assessment (0-not met, 1-attention needed, 2- outcome met) Indicator/ Evidence Action plan based on evidence
Standard 3.1 Advocacy workers will only work on behalf of children and young people. They will only share information with other people with permission from the child or young person, unless someone is at risk of harm.
Standard 3.2 Advocacy workers will not give their own or anyone else’s views or opinions while advocating for the child or young person, they will only represent the child or young person's wishes.
Standard 3.3 Advocacy workers will not be influenced by anyone or anything else while they are supporting the child or young person.
Principle 4: Advocacy is for all children and young people who wish to take up the offer of Advocacy.
Standard Assessment (0-not met, 1-attention needed, 2- outcome met) Indicator/ Evidence Action plan based on evidence
Standard 4. 1 Advocacy workers will liaise with carers and other professionals already working with children and young people to ensure that they are sensitive to the individual child or young person's needs.
Standard 4. 2 Advocacy workers will work with children and young people of all backgrounds and respect the identity, culture, needs and preferences of all children and young people and treat them fairly and equally.

Contact

Email: CYPAdvocacy@gov.scot