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Your rights to an Independent Advocate

You have a right to be heard! and access to an Independent Advocate.

Last updated: 14 November 2022

You have a right to be heard!

If you’re unhappy or want to complain about something, you don’t need to keep it to yourself. As a young person in care or care leaver, you have the right to work with someone called an Independent Advocate.

In Waltham Forest, this service is provided by Barnardo's (POhWER) 

An independent advocate can help you to speak out about what is important to you. They will help you to have your say and be listened to when decisions are being made about you.

If you are a child or young person who is in care, leaving care you can ask an advocate for help.

You can contact an advocate for lots of different reasons including issues about where you live, your education, seeing your family or about feeling safe. An independent advocate is on your side. They’ll tell you about your rights, listen to you and come to meetings with you (if you’d like them to).

An Independent Advocate can:

  • Give you information and advice so you understand your rights
  • Speak to those who are making decisions about you, like social workers, to help make sure that you’re involved in any plans being made about you
  • Make sure you understand what people are saying
  • Help you to make a complaint

Advocates in Waltham Forest are not part of Children's Services. They work for a different organisation and this makes them independent.

If you’d like an advocate, you can speak to your social worker, carer or IRO.

You can also contact Barnardo's (POhWER) directly or email.

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