Information for Carers and Families

What Independent Advocacy is all about

What is independent advocacy?

Independent Advocacy is a free service which helps people have their voices heard, their rights upheld, and their views taken into account when important issues are happening in their lives.

What about me?

We all advocate for ourselves and others at some point in our lives. If you are a parent or carer, you will have no doubt spoken to service providers and professionals on behalf of the person you care for about various issues that may have arisen. Sometimes though it can help to have an independent person to support them to make their voice stronger and to make sure that their rights are protected.

What’s different about having an independent advocacy worker?

An independent advocacy worker is a person free from the control or direction of other service providers and of the family, and is able to think and act freely with, or on behalf of, another in order to defend or safeguard their rights without any other agenda.

Sometimes it may be that the relatives and carers find it difficult to speak up for their loved ones.  On occasion there may be differing views within the family or between the person, their family and professionals about what is best.

An advocacy worker will not judge what is best for their advocacy partner or give advice. They will ensure that the person has access to any specialist advice that is required for them to make their own decision and that their rights are upheld.

Most importantly, the advocacy worker will stand with them even when their views are at odds with what others might deem as not to be in their best interests. Using an Advocacy worker helps to clearly distinguish the views and goals of the person amidst those of others.

If the advocacy partner’s wishes are not realised, their advocacy worker will also help them to understand why, and then to go on to explore what other choices might need to be considered in order to move things forward.

Situations in which an Independent Advocacy Worker might be helpful … 

  • Mental Health Tribunals
  • AWI Case Conferences
  • Meetings and reviews
  • Children’s Hearings
  • Getting information, exploring options
  • Accessing legal advice
  • Additional support for learning
  • Accessing services  
Advocacy Workers do
  • Listen to their advocacy partner
  • Ensure their views are heard
  • Promote their rights
  • Help them to find solutions
 Advocacy Workers don’t
  • Tell their advocacy partner what to do
  • Give them advice
  • Decide things for them
  • Take other people’s sides
  • Share their information unless someone is at risk

Contact Information

Contact us using the information below

G/1 Links House
15 Links Place
Ph: 0131 478 7723/7724

Offices 1 & 2
Strathclyde Business Centre
120 Carstairs St, Dalmarnock
Glasgow G40 4JD
Ph: 0141 847 0660

Office 18
Staffa Place
Ph: 01382 217186

For more information on Partners in Advocacy services in your area, please check out the links to our local offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.

Edinburgh - Skyline


Advocacy Services provided in Edinburgh, Mid & East Lothian

Glasgow - Skyline


Advocacy Services provided in Glasgow and East Renfrewshire

Dundee - Skyline


Advocacy Services provided in Dundee and surrounding area

Follow the link to the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance for more information about advocacy