REACH: Understanding Advocacy

January 31, 2019 by Alison Watson-Shields

REACH has recently been working with a young lady called Natalie, who needed help communicating with her care provider and understanding her care plan.

When she was initially referred to REACH, issues with her Social Worker had caused the relationship to deteriorate so much that Natalie was struggling to get her message across about the issues she was facing. Sometimes when dealing with these particular problems and issues an individual already knows what they would like to say, they simply need help communicating this in an effective format. REACH helped Natalie identify her specific problems and construct a formal letter of complaint, highlighting her specific grievances with her Social Worker. The complaint is currently being investigated by the local council

REACH has also supported individuals to meet with Stockton Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), Social Services and representatives of the Estates and Finance Department to clarify particular points of contention. The majority of the time, although an advocate is present, the advocate does not need to interact as the self advocacy work undertaken prior to the meeting helps the client to address concerns themselves.

For the most part, the role of an advocate is to provide the emotional stability required for the client to discuss the issues they are facing with the correct individual. While also ensuring that you understand the direction of the conversation to help the client further if required.

Asking questions is your right – sometimes people tend to forget that. Finding the correct information helps people to feel in control of their lives and their problems and enhances their interaction with the world around them.

If you feel like you require an advocate to help you with any of these problems, please give us a call on 01642 687701.

Written by

Liam Twizell 

REACH Project Advocate  

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