If you do not feel able to speak for yourself, or find it hard to understand things, don't worry. You can ask someone to help you. This is known as advocacy.
If you don't know someone who can help, you can ask us to arrange for an independent advocate to support you.
Who is an advocate
An independent advocate is:
- a trained professional who can help get your opinions heard
- not professionally involved in providing care or treatment to you or your carer.
Using an advocate
An advocate can be used at any time when your care and support needs are being considered. For example, they can help with:
- a needs assessment
- creating or reviewing an adult's care and support plan
- moving from children's social care to adult social care
- an adult carer's assessment
- a young carer's assessment
- a safeguarding enquiry or review.
Who an advocate supports
An advocate can support people who:
- find it hard to make decisions about the care and support they need
- feel they are not being actively involved in a decision, or who have difficulty in understanding what is happening with the care and support processes
- have no appropriate person, such as a family member, carer or friend who can support them.
How an advocate can help
Advocates will support you:-
- to understand processes in relation to your care and support
- to say what is important to you and what you need
- going to appointments with professionals to make sure your views are listened to and understood and that you understand what is being said
- to make a complaint if you are unhappy about your treatment, care and support or the services you receive
- to get in touch with other organisations who may be able to help you
- to get the support you need to stay safe
- to make decisions that might be difficult within your family, maybe where there are differences in people's views
- ensure decisions are made in your best interests if you are unable to make decisions for yourself
An advocate will not
- give you their personal opinion
- solve problems and make decisions for you
- make judgements about you
Advocates are independent of social services and the NHS.
Finding an advocate
|Website||Who they help|
|Advocacy Kirklees||Is a partnership between Touchstone and Advonet. They provide a number of advocacy services:-
|Kirklees Advocacy Service||Is run by Touchstone and is an advocacy service for people experiencing mental health issues|
|Carers count||unpaid carers in Kirklees|
|Website||Who they help|
|Kirklees Involvement Network||Adults with a learning disability can get advocacy support from Advocacy Kirklees and might want to find out more about self-advocacy by being part of Kirklees Involvement Network|
|Learning Disability Carers Voice||An independent network of family carers for adults with learning disabilities in Kirklees|
|PCAN - Parents of Children with Additional Needs||An independent, parent-led forum in Kirklees for all parents and carers of children and young people with additional needs aged from birth to 25 years.|
|KIAS Kirklees Information and Advice Service||Free, impartial and confidential service, working with Parents/Carers, Children and Young People (aged 0-25 years).|
|Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees||Free and confidential information and advice service for older people, their families and carers|
Feedback on services
Healthwatch Kirklees are a watchdog for NHS and Social Care services. They gather and represent the views of adults, young people and children living or using NHS and/or Social Care services in Kirklees.
- They tell services about your experiences of care and hold them to account.
- They investigate problems and seek solutions
- They have a say in how local services are delivered and designed.
To find out more, visit Healthwatch Kirklees