Access to advocacy criteria
The provider(s) will use their local networks to drive up levels of awareness of, and regard for, advocacy locally.
They will circulate digital and printed materials as required, to inform and to raise awareness of advocacy within the Children’s Hearings System with children and families and other interested organisations, by agreement or at our request.
All referrals, whether by the child or young person themselves or by a third party shall be received, be processed and be allocated resources by the provider(s) within three working days.
Referrals will typically be received by phone, post, fax, email, or in person and will be recorded by the provider(s) on paper and in electronic format.
Upon receipt of the referral, the provider(s) shall immediately contact the child or young person, in order to:
- determine whether the individual is eligible for advocacy
- ensure that advocacy is actually required by the person
- ensure that the referral is within the remit
- provide the person with information about advocacy provision
- arrange for the person to receive an introductory visit from an advocacy worker
The provider(s) shall be responsible for processing the referral and related documentation and for allocating a suitable advocacy worker.
The advocacy worker allocated to the case shall:
- make an introductory visit to meet the child/young person, explain the advocacy offer and obtain and record informed consent to receive advocacy
- inform the child/young person about advocacy, including confidentiality of information and complaints procedures as set out in the provider(s)’ conditions. This information shall be provided in a format appropriate to the individual child/young person, but normally both verbally and in writing, using standard texts and/or promotional literature where available
- support the child or young person before, during and after the hearing and until their issue is resolved as far as it is reasonably possible to resolve the issue
The timescale from receipt of referral to completion and closing of cases will depend on a number of factors, such as the urgency and nature of the issue involved and schedules of any related meetings or hearings. It is recognised that the timescale may also be impacted by the complexity of the issue(s) and the availability of resource allocation.
The provider(s) shall use an electronic management information system to manage and retain information about referrals, the nature of the cases and service users to ensure that resources are used efficiently and effectively and that throughput is maximised.
To discuss any part of this grant application you can contact the Children’s Hearings Advocacy Team: