Mike Lindsay - Advocacy and Complaints


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Mike Lindsay - Advocacy and Complaints

  1. 1. CROA ANNUAL CONFERENCE: Let’s get social ADVOCACY AND COMPLAINTS Dr Mike Lindsay Office of the Children’s Rights Director
  2. 2. ABOUT US <ul><li>What is the Office of the </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s Rights Director? </li></ul><ul><li>[see www.rights4me.org ] </li></ul>
  3. 3. ABOUT US <ul><li>STATUTORY FUNCTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>Asking children’s views </li></ul><ul><li>Advising on children’s rights and welfare </li></ul><ul><li>Raising issues CRD considers significant </li></ul>
  4. 4. ABOUT COMPLAINTS What is a complaint? Who is entitled to complain? Why have a complaints system?
  5. 5. CHILDREN’S VIEWS ON COMPLAINTS “ It’s such a bureaucratic system … it’s as if no one wants to have the problem sorted. You sometimes have to go to the very top … “ “ The complaint took so long to sort out that it was pointless in the end”
  6. 6. WHAT CHILDREN NEED FROM COMPLAINTS <ul><li>The possibility that: </li></ul><ul><li>What they say might be taken seriously </li></ul><ul><li>Their complaint will be considered quickly, yet fairly </li></ul><ul><li>People will: “Sort it … not just report it” </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions are ‘frozen’ pending outcome </li></ul><ul><li>Findings should come with appropriate redress. </li></ul>
  7. 7. ABOUT ADVOCACY What is advocacy? Who is entitled to advocacy, and when? Why have an advocacy service?
  8. 8. CHILDREN’S VIEWS ON ADVOCACY “ They helped me get back into school” “ My solicitor tried to stop me from going to secure” “ They help me speak out in my review” But many were not sure whether to count the help they got as ‘advocacy’.
  9. 9. CHILDREN’S VIEWS ON ADVOCACY “ Could tell the positive difference that was made when an advocate became involved” “ Because they can sort it out” “ Some complaints can be sorted and some sadly can’t” “ Be on my side …”
  10. 10. WHAT CHILDREN NEED FROM ADVOCACY The law provides a right giving looked after children and care leavers access to a complaints procedure and an advocate. Make sure that this right is built in to the services you are commissioning. Make sure that all looked after children and care leavers know about this right and how to exercise it.
  11. 11. WHAT CHILDREN NEED FROM ADVOCACY <ul><li>Better information about: </li></ul><ul><li>What it is </li></ul><ul><li>What their rights are to an advocate </li></ul><ul><li>Where you get one from </li></ul><ul><li>Someone who is there for them … not for the system … going the extra mile! </li></ul><ul><li>Someone who is there to help them win … not just have their say. </li></ul>
  12. 12. WHAT YOU NEED FROM COMPLAINTS AND ADVOCACY There is often a disproportionate amount of time, effort and money that goes into handling complaints. When resources are at their tightest you need to be at your most resourceful . REMEMBER, that good advocacy is as much about preventing complaints , as it is facilitating them.