We believe care should be done with and not to young people.
That’s why Who Cares? Scotland provides independent advocacy services in most local authority areas in Scotland. We work one on one with a young person to help them have a say in what is happening to them. We strive to provide advocacy that helps young people feel respected, included, listened to and understood. We’re independent to any care services a young person receives – this is crucial because we want young people to be supported and understood with no conflict of interest.
Advocacy gives the young person a chance to tell someone what they want or like, outwith the line of professionals. It helps children and young to put their views across with what they think is best for them as a lot of children don’t as they don’t think they would be listened to or they don’t know how to say it
Why advocacy matters
Our advocacy is not like a mentoring or befriending service. Our independent advocates are trained professionals and want to build trusting, long-term relationships with young people. We do that so that young people feel comfortable enough to tell us how they really feel. In turn, we do everything we can to make sure their voice is heard.
I honestly would recommend it to anyone who lacks confidence to say their views in a children’s hearing or LAAC review. Because of my advocacy worker, I gained confidence to express my views, either written down or speaking
To express my feelings when I felt I couldn’t
- Advocacy is an equal partnership between young people and their Who Cares? Scotland worker.
- The worker develops a trusting relationship with the young person, and helps them to have their say and understand what they want to say.
- A worker can help a young person speak to their Social Worker and Children’s Panel Member – or their carers and teachers.
- Advocacy is a way of helping children and young people understand their rights.
To find out about accessing advocacy for a young person, or if you are a young person who wants to speak to an advocate in your area, click here to find out who is available in your area. Or call the National Office on 0141 226 4441 for help.