The Care and Support Alliance has welcomed a Government decision to guarantee that tens of thousands of people each year who would struggle to navigate the social care system alone can turn to an independent advocate.
The CSA has been campaigning for a right to advocacy since the Bill was introduced to Parliament in draft form last year.
Independent advocates provide intensive support especially to people who find it hardest to express their views and needs, or make decisions about their care. They ensure that people’s voices are heard, that they won’t have to face the often intimidating and complex process of council assessments alone, and that they get the care they need when they need it.
Advocacy charity VoiceAbility argues many struggle to get this support: “Advocacy helps people’s voices to be heard and enables people to stay in control of their lives. But currently the provision of advocacy remains patchy, so whether you are properly involved in your decisions about your life can depend on where you live.”
The Government has now committed to creating a right to advocacy in the Care Bill. When the Bill becomes law, local authorities will need to ensure independent advocates are available for the most vulnerable.
Sue Brown, Vice Chair of CSA, said:
“We’re really pleased to see an amendment, which would guarantee that some of the most vulnerable people can get an advocate.
“Advocates play a critical role in the care system, this duty will ensure that people are properly involved in assessments and care planning, and that they won’t have to face the intimidating and complex process of councils assessments alone.
“Advocates support people to articulate their needs, make informed choices and make the process less intimidating; they support with planning care, reviewing that care and help people speak out if they are unsatisfied with care or when safeguarding issues may arise.