Duncan Dunlop Profile picture
May 23 12 tweets 4 min read
#Advocacy thread.
A key recommendation in the @reviewCSC is for there to be independent, opt-out advocacy.
Implementation of this would be globally ground-breaking and a vg safeguard for children's rights.
#CareReview 🧵 Image
It is confusing, difficult and sometimes traumatic entering care. An #independentadvocate is there to be on the child's side. It is someone to represent their needs and wishes so that they are central in making and reviewing care plans.
Running @whocaresscot I saw firsthand how advocacy was a life-line for people in the most vulnerable situations. It gave them hope and built trust when they saw they were heard.
Having a voice over decisions that affect you is a cornerstone of children's rights.
Advocacy has to be relationship based. Where a child can have time to trust the person and understand the role.
Opt-out: it is crucial an advocate introduces & explains what advocacy is to a child. There is 90%+ uptake for advocacy when this happens. Take-up is much lower when other professionals introduce it.
Advocacy is vital for children who might enter care, who are at risk of moving in care, or who are not happy in care.

Advocacy is not always necessary for settled children, but should regularly be offered to them.
Non-instructed advocacy is possible for those who cannot communicate or who are too young. It is done from a Children's Rights Perspective.
Collective advocacy and connecting care exp people helps:
1) highlight systemic issues locally & nationally from the data of multiple cases
2) give care exp people of all ages the chance to connect with others; have fun whilst understanding their care identity & rights.
We don't have properly independent advocacy in the UK. All advocacy is currently commissioned on 1-5 yr basis & ££ for by Local Authorities who provide care. Unfortunately at times this does influence how vocal an advocacy service feels it can be
A lot of advocacy is also delivered by organisations that deliver care services. Sometimes it is a conflict for them to advocate for/against a type of service they provide. It also weakens the influence of collective advocacy to highlight in/effective practices
Traditionally we have not respected the power & importance of including a child in planning their care experience. Despite best efforts its why current advocacy provision is at best patchy & weak.
#BestInterests dominate, and too often professionals over-ride a child's voice
The implementation of this advocacy recommendation will demonstrate how far we are prepared to protect #childrensrights for #CEP

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More from @duncdunlop

May 23
Proud to see the @reviewCSC published today.
Not just recommendations, but a far reaching, ambitious, costed plan for change.
Early non-judgmental help to support families in need

Support people who children already know to love and care for them

Stability & continuity of life-long loving relationships in communities & families

Care cooperatives to improve quality and availability of care
Specialist Child protection Social workers

The aim of residential care is to heal, its not an appropriate long-term solution

Properly independent advocacy to uphold rights and give a voice to parents & children

All care is regulated but flexible enough to meet varied needs
Read 6 tweets
Jun 11, 2020
This is a thread.
Content warning death and suicide.

"We've become used to members of our community dying." I saw a Care Experienced person Tweet this the other day and I'm still thinking about it.
I've also spoken to 3 members of staff in the last week who have told me about 3 of our young members who have recently died. This is totally unacceptable.
24 years ago I first took care exp young people camping. It was a joyous event where kids had fun. In the weeks after that camp one of the boys’ completed suicide. @whocaresscot I am still taking kids camping and I am still going to funerals for members who have camped with us.
Read 21 tweets

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