In this section you can find out…
- What is an advocate?
- What is advocacy?
- Where can I go for advice or help?
- What about making decisions?
- Decision making information for parents or carers
- An example of how advocacy works in real life - Tom's story
Advocates do not make choices for children. Instead, they support children and young people to make their own informed choices.
The Scottish Government has published a guide to children’s advocacy which can be used by family members, friends, teachers, support workers and others who may at times advocate for a child.
The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA) is funded by Scottish Government. It has the overall aim of ensuring that independent advocacy is available to any vulnerable person in Scotland.
A young person in Scotland legally becomes an adult at 16. The law in Scotland generally assumes that adults are capable of making personal decisions for themselves and of managing their own affairs. However, some people may be unable to do this, or may need some extra support because of their disability.
The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 sets out a number of different ways (called provisions) to allow others to act for, or make decisions for, an adult who is unable to do these things for themselves in relation to their:
- Financial Affairs
- Personal Welfare
Parts of this Act can be used to meet the needs of the person and include Guardianship. To learn more about the Act, you can have a look at the Scottish Government’s short guide. This guide also contains a list of organisations who can provide support or help you to understand the Act.
If you care for a child or young person who does not have capacity, you might want to think about applying for a provision under the Act. The Scottish Government has also produced a guide to help carers understand more about the Act, the kinds of powers they might need to apply for and how to apply for them.
If you are unsure about the needs of the young person or if the Act can help, you should contact your local social work department. Under the Act, the Local Authority has a duty to assess the needs of anyone who may lack capacity due to a mental disorder or severe communication difficulty caused by a physical condition.
Read Tom and Laura's story on the Fairer Scotland blog.