NIROMP are working with Coram Voice to promote the voice of young people in the care system and their entitlement to advocacy.
Coram Voice are very keen to work alongside IRO’s in ensuring that children in care are able to access advocacy support, and are able to resolve the concerns they have sought out advocacy support with in the first place.
Championing children’s rights and entitlements – Always Heard
Coram Voice has been commissioned by the Department for Education to deliver Always Heard, the new National Advocacy ‘Safety Net’ and Advice Service (England) for children and young people involved in the care system.
For the first time there is a single national advocacy advice service and gateway that young people can use to access their advocacy services across the country, and an advocacy ‘safety net’ for when a local service is unable or unwilling to help. Coram Voice, with support of IRO’s, will also be working to identify and address gaps in local authority provision of advocacy.
Progress is good with the Always Heard team already assisting children and young people to contact their local advocacy providers and there are already examples of local authorities being persuaded to release additional funds to advocacy providers so that young people can have the support of a local advocate where this has been initially refused.
Other vital work includes supporting children without local advocacy support to speak to about what’s concerning them (issues like contact with family, concerns about their social worker or foster carer, and care planning).
The Always Heard briefing paper captures what the service is all about and where the linkages are with the work of IRO’s across the country. Download: Always Heard – Information for IROs
Please help to publicise the service – display and promote: Always Heard – postcard