The Promise Scotland publishes its scoping report to the Scottish Government

In its report, The Promise sets out how Scotland could scope and develop a national lifelong advocacy service for care experienced people and their families. CAPS, alongside other advocacy providers, fed into this report based on our experiences delivering Children’s Hearings Advocacy.

The ‘care system’ is complex and decisions taken within it may be life changing for the individual concerned. Independent Advocacy helps people in this type of situation to have a voice in decisions that affect them. It supports people who may experience an imbalance of power and makes sure that decision-makers take their views into account. A lifelong advocacy service for care experienced people would really help them to navigate this complex system.

A strategic plan for advocacy

The report states that a ‘National Advocacy Oversight Group’ would oversee the development of a national strategic plan for advocacy. It would help to build an understanding of what resources are available and required for Scotland to fulfil its ambitions relating to Independent Advocacy across the country.

The group will develop clarity and understanding of all Independent Advocacy provision in Scotland. CAPS welcomes the intent to clarify the definition and understanding of ‘Independent Advocacy’. We look forward to contributing our expertise in this area. We welcome the intention that a national advocacy service for care-experienced people should be Independent.

The report also acknowledges connected workstreams and legislation. It says: ‘A number of cross-cutting and inter-related workstreams are innately connected to the work to scope a national lifelong advocacy service. This includes:

  • the National Care Service;
  • the incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC);
  • the Human Rights Bill;
  • the response to the recommendations from the Mental Health Law Review and the Hearings System Working Group.’

The report states that ‘The role of advocacy is an important feature in all’. In its paper, Promise Scotland are recommending that access to Independent Advocacy for care experienced children, adults and families should be a statutory right under the Promise Bill.

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