Advocacy is about speaking up for children and young people and ensuring their views and wishes are heard and acted upon by decision makers. It should be independent confidential and provide as a minimum information advice representation and support to young people.

In Shropshire the advocacy service is provided by Coram Voice (an independent national charity).

An advocate can help you with saying the things you need to say to those who make decisions about you, help you understand your rights and help you with a complaint if you are unhappy with the services you receive.

If you wish to speak with an advocate you can call the helpline 0808 800 5792 or talk to your IRO, Social Worker or carer to help you make contact with the advocacy service. Helpline advocates work with young people to attempt to address any issues quickly by phone. If this is not possible and face to face advocacy is required this will be arranged for example if you want support at a meeting such as your LAC Review. On receipt of a referral, an advocate will contact the young person (wherever appropriate) to advise of the service and confirm that they would like advocacy help

All advocates have a background in childcare and child related professions and hold a variety of professional qualifications, including social work, teaching, law and psychology. They have all completed the ‘Being A Voice’ 4 day advocacy training.