Services for young
people in Wigan
What is Children’s Advocacy Service?
Children’s Advocacy is the process by which the views, opinions, wishes and feelings of children and young people who feel that they are not being heard, or do not have a voice within the situation they find themselves, can be professionally represented and related to those they wish to hear such views.
“A family friend recommended the Family Welfare service. The team were just excellent from start to finish.
They listened to the problems we were having and I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. Thank you!”
Would highly recommend the service to anybody going through tough times in their lives. My counsellor has been outstanding and a credit to your team.
My counsellor was very easy to chat and interact with, made each session easier to chat through. He has helped me massively to open up and chat regarding issues.
Counselling has helped, before I was mad all the time, now it’s another step into life. I understand why I was angry and where it came from. It’s like a new journey.
Counselling has helped a lot. It is nice to have someone who understands what I am going through and does not judge. It has helped me like myself.
Talking about Granddad has helped me not feel as lonely since he died. I have put a lot of memories into my memory box that I did not know I had.
I did not believe I would survive the loss of my Granddad. I have been helped me through all of it and helped me to like myself more, thank you so much.
Counselling has helped me to feel better about myself and better as a person. I am proud of how different I am now and excited about my future
Counselling has boosted my confidence and given me a place to get everything out. I felt from the beginning that I could trust you and that is what made the difference.
I cannot praise them highly enough and would recommend them, without hesitation, to anybody who needed them. Thanks so much.
It’s been emotional and tiring but very eye-opening, mostly from my counsellor’s approach to mental health well-being. Thank you for the service and the care.
The counsellor was really nice and listened to everything I had to say and offered advice and guidance when needed. Thank you so much.
The quality of advocacy support is excellent, they are very responsive, even with out of borough cases as people are seen quickly and timely reports provided.
My advocate is very experienced and clear about her role, she works professionally is flexible, willing and always puts my needs first.
My advocate was concerned to support me to do as much for myself as possible, she explained the process in a way I could understand, developed a strategy and plan.
The Advocate will listen to your views and opinions and ascertain your wishes and feelings, and help you speak for yourself if you wish to do so in difficult situations. They will also assist you to put your views to those you wish to be aware of them or do this on your behalf, and attend meetings with you or represent you at them. The Advocate will additionally help you understand what is being said to you, or to understand forms or letters you may receive. Working in partnership with you is key and this will ensure that your views are accurately heard and represented. Your views will be kept confidential at all times but there may be situations where other individuals or services may be informed to ensure your safety. The Advocate will also assist you to submit a complaint on your behalf about the services you receive should the need to do so arise.
Children who are looked after by the Local Authority (including Care Leavers up to the age of 25) may access the service. Additionally young people who are subject to Child Protection proceedings, are a Child in Need, or who are included in an Early Help process are also eligible. Finally young people who are accessing mental health services, or attempting to or have accessed such services may be referred. Additionally we undertake to assist young people who may be considered to have additional needs. The referral criteria is designed to be clearly understandable and must be met in all cases;
- The young person must be between the ages of 4 and 17 (except Care Leavers up to age 25)
- Parental consent (or the consent of an adult holding parental responsibility) must be in place and the child consulted and agreeable to the referral prior to submitting the referral
- Anyone can refer to the service on the provision that all aspects of the criteria are met
- Self-referrals are encouraged and welcome
All names and key details have been changed, to protect the client’s right to confidentiality.
Photographs shown are also not representative of the actual person.
Jamie Is a child looked after by the local authority who attends a local High School. He had requested to see the advocate as he felt that he was not being correctly informed regarding his sister’s adoption as his Mum’s recollection of events and that of Social Care differed significantly. The advocate met with him in school and discussed his views. Options were presented to him in respect of how his concerns could be appropriately heard and acted upon to provide him with the clarity he felt he needed to settle his anxieties around this issue. After a meaningful discussion he chose to take the matter forward by way of an ‘informal’ enquiry. An informal enquiry was devised by the advocate in conjunction with Local Authority Complaints Team manager. This is a process which falls short of a formal complaint but achieves the same purpose without the timescales and registration. This has proved a very effective means of resolving issues for young people who may be a little reluctant to utilise a formal pathway and prompts responses and outcomes in a very effective manner. The details were passed to the Team Manager who initiated the enquiry which very quickly prompted contact from an appropriately identified Social Care representative. The concerns raised were addressed and Jamie was provided with clarity of the facts at hand in a manner that was relevant to his age and awareness.
How our Young Persons Advocate helped
Jamie was spoken to by a Social Care Service Manager in the presence of the Advocate and Jamie felt massively reassured. The Service Manager agreed to meet with him again to discuss further issues.