What is advocacy?

"Where people have their own voice, advocacy means making sure they are heard; where they have difficulty speaking up, it means providing help; where they have no voice, it means speaking up for them."

Herbert and Mould (1992) 'The Advocacy Role in Public Child Welfare'


What is independent advocacy?

Independent advocacy aims to help people and groups by supporting them to express their own wishes and needs and to make their own informed decisions.

Put more simply, being an independent advocate means putting the client at the heart of what we do. We are not here to help you say what we think you should say. We are not here to help you say what our funders think you should say. We are here to help you say what you want to say.


Examples of our service

  1. Helping clients know their rights, whether in general or within the context of varous 'systems', such as the Mental Health system, the Community Care system or the Adult/Child Protection system.
  2. Helping clients to know what choices they have and what the consequences of these choices may be.
  3. Ensuring people are fully involved in making decisions about themselves, both by enabling people to gain access to information, exploring and understand their options, and by speaking up on behalf of people who are unable to do so for themselves.
  4. Providing information on Self-Directed Support (SDS), a system relating to the provision of care.
  5. Explaining how to obtain legal advice and working with professionals to make sure you are involved and consulted on all aspects of care and treatment.


What advocacy is not

Advocates are not:

  • Mediators
  • Advisors
  • Campaigners
  • Befrienders
  • Support Workers
  • Counsellors

However, if you require any of these services, an advocate can signpost you to the appropriate organisations within Orkney.

Our advocates are not able to guarantee results. Nor can they support any illegal practices or activities.

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