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What is independent advocacy?

Independent advocacy helps people to have as much influence and control as possible over their lives

Independent advocacy is about people having the right to a voice: addressing barriers and imbalances of power and ensuring that human rights are recognised, respected, and secured.

Independent advocacy is …
<ul> <li>about standing alongside people who are in danger of being pushed to the margins of society</li> <li>about standing up for and sticking with a person or group and taking their side</li> <li>a process of working towards natural justice</li> <li>making sure that people are listened to</li> <li>understanding their situation and what may be stopping them from getting what they want</li> <li>offering people support to tell others what they want</li> <li>helping people to know what choices they have and what the consequences of these choices might be</li> <li>enabling people to have control over their life and/or taking up issues on their behalf if they want you to</li> </ul>
Independent advocacy is NOT …
<ul> <li>making decisions for someone</li> <li>mediation</li> <li>counselling</li> <li>befriending</li> <li>care and support work</li> <li>telling or advising someone what you think they should do</li> <li>resolving all someone’s issues for them</li> <li>speaking for people when they wish to speak for themselves</li> <li>filling all the gaps in someone’s life</li> <li>acting in a way which benefits other people more than the person you are advocating for</li> <li>agreeing with everything a person says and doing anything a person asks you to do</li> </ul>

Independent advocacy is unique

Being independent means that Independent Advocacy organisations only provide advocacy and not any other services.

Independent Advocacy is distinct from care and support. Independent Advocacy workers do not follow the agenda of any other organisation.

Individual advocacy

Individual advocacy is provided one-to-one by advocacy workers who can:

  • Assist people to express their own views and wishes.
  • Speak on behalf of individuals if the person asks us to.
  • Provide information, not advice, so people can understand situations and make informed choices and decisions.

Find out if you can access
individual advocacy

Collective advocacy

Collective advocacy happens when a group of people with similar experiences get together to raise issues and try to change things.

A group can have a stronger, louder voice than one person in taking forward shared issues. This makes groups more difficult to ignore.

Find out if you can access
collective advocacy

What independent advocacy looks like at CAPS

Find out if you can access
collective advocacy

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