Advocacy in Barnet

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy means helping you to express your views and making sure that these views are taken seriously.

  • We will help you find out about your rights, so that you can make up your own mind about what you want to happen

  • We will help you explain your views and will make sure that people listen to you

  • We can speak with those who are supporting you, like social workers, teachers or family, to help make sure that you are involved in any plans being made about you

  • If you want, we can help you to make a complaint and support you through the process


The Advocacy Service is available for children and young people who are either a Child in Care, child on a CP plan or a Care Leaver. This service provides them with an independent advocate when situations occur that need to be mediated and a trained professional can advocate on behalf of the child or young person, ensuring their rights are respected and their views and wishes heard.


If you would like an Advocate you can ask your Social Worker to refer you, or you can self-refer directly to:

Action for Children

Referrals:
To submit new referrals by email: LondonAdvocacy@actionforchildren.org.uk or for further discussion call: 020 7254 9408

Independent Visitors (IVS)

Independent Visitors (IVs) are unpaid volunteers who are matched with a young person in care for the purpose of “visiting, advising and befriending a looked after child or young person”.

Independent Visitors:
-  meet with you at least once a month to share activities, spend time one-to-one and have fun. 
- the role is long term, with ideally a minimum commitment of two years, with the hope that you will benefit from a supportive, reliable, fun and confidential relationship with an adult who is independent from the professionals around you.

Activities in the matches are bespoke to your wishes and feelings with the aim of providing access to stimulating positive opportunities, supporting new hobbies and interests and offering ongoing support in any areas needed (e.g. growing independence, placement stability).  For some children and young people, it is simply a space to talk.

Referrals:
It is your right to have an independent visitor. If you are 5 - 18 years old and think you would benefit from having an Independent Visitor then please speak to your Social worker and IRO and they can refer you.
 

New referrals can be submitted via email to London.independentvisitors@actionforchildren.org.uk or for further information please call: 020 7254 9408

Covid-19 Service Update:
During this unprecedented time our Advocacy and IVS Service provided by Action for Children continues to be committed to supporting children and young people. Advocates and IVS are continuing to accept new referrals and to provide advocacy services to children and young people. Face to face contact has now been resumed where it has been assessed that this is needed and safe, and social workers are being contacted so that risk assessments can be completed. Advocates also continue to work with young people via telephone and video apps, ensuring the young person has a space where they can go to talk in confidence with the advocate. Advocates continue to assess on a case by case basis what is the most appropriate route to reach young people.