Programme manager: Simon Cottingham
Black Country Advocacy Service
Black Country Advocacy Service provides independent, confidential services to children and young people who are in care, leaving care or who have a social worker. The programme also offers advocacy for disabled children and disabled looked-after young people. It operates in Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Walsall.
The service covers several important areas:
- Listening carefully to children who need to get their views and feelings across.
- Giving children a voice in decisions that affect their lives.
- Ensuring young people’s rights are respected and that they are treated fairly.
- Helping them solve problems in ways that feel comfortable to them.
- Advocacy for children with complex communication needs, severe learning difficulties and children without speech.
- Non-instructed advocacy for children with severe communication impairments (where the advocate gains information from those who know the child well and gauges what the child’s views are by observing their behaviour).
Find out more about our Black Country Advocacy Service:
- Young people’s leaflet about our Black Country Advocacy Service
- Leaflet on advocacy for disabled children
Black Country and Telford Independent Visitor Service
An independent visitor (IV) befriends a child or young person who has little or no contact with their family. The IV takes an interest in the young person, offering support and a listening ear. The service relies largely on volunteers. The Children’s Society runs the IV service for the Black Country and Telford, this covers Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Walsall and Telford.
An IV is a volunteer who is matched with a child in care. They meet with them face to face on average once a month to spend time finding out how they are and usually taking them out of their placement (cinema, food, walks etc.).
Volunteers commit a minimum of two years to the young person and we provide all training, support and supervision to them. If you are interested in becoming an independent visitor please get in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator.