The provider(s) shall have the capacity and flexibility to manage delivery to accommodate these operating times:
- the advocacy provision shall normally be available from 09:00 to 20:00 Monday to Thursday and 09:00 to 17:00 on Friday, not including public holidays
- in order to meet the needs of children and young people, the provision shall be made available outwith school hours, on Monday to Thursday evenings
The provider(s) shall ensure that advocacy is easily accessible to all potential children and young people who may have a Children’s Hearing and shall be made available to all children and young people who wish advocacy support at their hearings.
The advocacy shall normally be provided on a local basis at appropriate venues sourced by the provider(s) or identified by their advocacy worker(s).
In all cases, children’s advocacy shall be provided at locations conducive to encouraging the child or young person to discuss their issue(s) with the provider’s advocacy workers. Such locations may include the child/young person’s family home or care accommodation, office premises, schools, hospitals and venues for formal review meetings, including Children’s Hearings.
The advocacy workers employed by the provider(s) to deliver advocacy shall be based at a location(s) with ready access to all parts of the local authority area in which the advocacy is to be provided.
The provision may include any of the following requirements. Please note that this list is not exhaustive:
- communicating with the child/young person referred to advocacy and their family, guardians, friends, carers and others to establish the nature of the child/young person’s need and the issue to be addressed
- establishing with the child/young person their preferred outcomes and options for action
- supporting the child/young person or to speak or engage at their hearing or Pre-Hearing Panel. If this is not possible, speak with the child/young person’s agreement on their behalf at formal proceedings, such as Pre-Hearing Panels and Children’s Hearings
- negotiating on the child/young person’s behalf, with their permission, with advocacy providers and others to address issues of concern
The provider(s) shall ensure adequate provision for communication with:
- children and young people with profound and complex learning disabilities, mental health problems or incapacity
- children and young people from minority ethnic or other cultural groups
- children and young people with other communications issues, such as hearing or speech impairment
The provider(s) shall assist the child/young person to obtain legal advice or representation if necessary or requested to do so.
The provider(s) shall provide information to empower the child/young person to speak for themselves, or speak with advocacy support if required.
The provider(s) shall use a “case management”, auditable approach, showing effective case management and closure processes, for monitoring and evaluation purposes.
The provider(s) shall maintain a clear process of consent and accurate and current details of the child or young person’s case and all associated documentation, including case management records in line with GDPR requirements.
The provider(s) shall maximise utilisation of available resources by terminating cases when an issue is resolved, or where requested to do so by the child/young person, or where no further action can be taken.
The provider(s) will develop a range of communication routes for children and young people including access by telephone, email, social media and other digital applications.
To discuss any part of this grant application you can contact the Children’s Hearings Advocacy Team: