We are pleased to introduce this Guidance which seeks to promote best practice in Scotland in relation to advocacy for adult carers.
We recognise the important role advocacy plays in helping safeguard people who may be at risk of being treated unfairly as a result of individual, social and environmental circumstances that make them vulnerable. We also recognise that some carers, especially the most vulnerable, benefit from independent advocacy support to help them in many different ways, including supporting them in dealings with health and social care and other professionals.
The Guidance is primarily intended for use by independent advocacy organisations, independent advocates, carer advocacy projects and carer advocacy workers to support a wide understanding of the role and boundaries of advocacy for carers. We envisage that it will also be helpful to carers in both understanding best practice as well as sign-posting them towards self-advocacy techniques.
Various types of advocacy are highlighted which may be offered and the importance of each is acknowledged. The Guidance recognises the value of local information on advocacy and provision of advocacy. In doing so it compliments these existing initiatives.
Carers should be involved in decisions about their own care and support. They can also be involved in decisions about the care and support of the people they care for. Advocacy helps ensure that people's rights are upheld, by ensuring that their views, opinions and wishes are expressed and listened to when decisions are made about their lives. Advocacy should provide an environment where people can confidently raise issues, knowing that it is free from conflict of interest.
This Guidance would not have been possible without the dedicated work of the Carers' Advocacy Guidance Working Group. We thank them for their valued contribution and hard work.
Jamie Hepburn MSP,
Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health
Councillor Peter Johnston,
COSLA Health and Wellbeing Spokesperson
Email: Peggy Winford