The duty to provide independent advocacy applies at the point of first contact , through assessment and throughout any subsequent part of the care and support planning oand review process. There is also a separate duty to arrange an independent advocate for adults who are subject to a safeguarding enquiry or safeguarding adults review.
It is critical in the particularly sensitive area of safeguarding (whether an enquiry or a SAR) that the individual is supported in what may feel a daunting process which may lead to some very difficult decisions. If relevant to the audience, it may be useful to explore with learners how they could best support an individual who is thought to have been abused or neglected – who may be so demoralised, frightened, embarrassed or upset that independent advocacy to help them be involved will be crucial.
Notes In general, a person who has substantial difficulty in being involved will only become eligible for an advocate where there is no one appropriate to support their involvement. However, the provision of an advocate, even where they have family or others who can facilitate the person’s involvement, is appropriate in these circumstances:
if it has already been established that a family member has abused the adult then they will automatically be excluded from advocating for them, however, if there are suspicions that they may be abusing or placing the adult at risk of harm, then it is reasonable to exclude them from acting as that person's advocate until the full facts have been established
where a placement is being considered in NHS-funded provision in either a hospital (for a period exceeding four weeks) or in a care home (for a period of eight weeks or more) and the local authority believes that it would be in the best interests of the individual to arrange an advocate
where there is a disagreement between the local authority and the appropriate person whose role it would be to facilitate the individual’s involvement, and the local authority and the appropriate person agree that the involvement of an independent advocate would be beneficial to the individual.
What things do you think you might have to consider in these circumstances?