Advocacy is about speaking up for children and young people

Teenage boy and care worker laughing

Tower Hamlets is working with The Children's Society to provide an advocacy service supporting looked after children, care leavers and disabled young people.

What is advocacy?

Advocacy is about speaking up for children and young people to make sure that their rights are respected and their views and wishes are heard at all times. Advocacy is about representing your views, wishes and needs and ensuring that decision makers listen. Our advocates work independently for you. As well as having an advocate that does this job for you, we also run participation activities for young people in care.

How should advocates work?

Advocates should:

  • Work for children and young people and no one else.
  • Value and respect children and young people as individuals and challenge all types of lawful discrimination.
  • Work to make sure that children and young people in care can understand what is happening to them, can make their views known and, where possible, exercise choice when decisions about them are being made.
  • Help children and young people to talk about things they are unhappy about. This includes making informal and formal complaints under the Children Act 1989.

We provide an advocacy service to help young people get their voices heard, express their views in decision making, understand their rights and make a complaint. We also run participation activities for young people and work closely with Children in Care Councils, which meet regularly to make sure young people’s views on services are heard.

Our Standards

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Helpful information about your rights

How can I get an advocate

If you would like an advocate:

You can phone or email us or ask your foster carer, independent reviewing officer (IRO), social worker or teacher to contact us for you.

teenage girl laughing in to camera

contact us

How does advocacy work?

You can meet with your advocate at your foster home, care home, school or another safe place.

Your advocate will:

  • listen to you
  • explain anything you don’t understand
  • help you to have your voice heard
  • tell you about your rights
  • go to meetings with you if you want.

You can talk to your advocate about:

  • how you would like them to help you
  • your problems
  • what you would like to happen.

Will my advocate keep what I say private?

Yes! We will not talk to people like your social worker, foster carers or teachers unless you ask us to. We would only need to tell someone what you have told us if we think that you or someone else is not safe, in this situation we would contact Tower Hamlets Social Services.