How we can help

Some of the ways an advocate might help are to:

  • Provide information to help people understand their choices and circumstances
  • Offer support in making complaints
  • Speak on behalf of the individual
  • Represent and support people at difficult meetings
  • Help people prepare what they want to say to decision makers
  • Give help in accessing records
  • Explain legal rights
  • Sign post to others that may be able to help
  • Offer representation at appeals


ASC provides advocacy in line with the guiding principles of the Advocacy Charter.

This means that our advocates do not give advice, offer counselling, provide mediation or befriending. It also means that they will not judge the wishes of the people they support or seek to persuade a person into a particular course of action.

Wherever possible advocates will listen to the views and wishes of the individual and act on their instruction, i.e. take the course of action that they request.

Advocates can provide information to people to help them understand what options might be available, but not decide or advise which one to take.

Non-Instructed Advocacy

Some people may have difficulty understanding information about the advocacy role and/or be unable to communicate their wishes and instructions. These people may be amongst the most vulnerable to having their wishes overlooked and they have the same rights to advocacy as anyone else. Our advocates are able to provide support to these people using an approach known as Non Instructed Advocacy.

There is a long history of advocates providing this type of advocacy and a number of Non-Instructed Advocacy approaches have been developed and used successfully. These include the Rights Based Approach, the Watching Brief, the Person Centred Approach and the Witness-Observer Approach.

These approaches aim to ensure that the individual is kept at the centre of all discussions and that decisions are made taking the individual’s wishes, where known, into consideration.

 
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