Advocacy within Carers Together aims to ensure that individual carers have a voice and are listened to.
Advocacy is about enabling carers to feel equal and empowering them to speak up for themselves.
Advocacy within Carers Together is about helping carers to tackle a single issue with which they need help, support or information.
Advocacy is about representing carers expressed wishes and acting under their instruction.
Advocacy within Carers Together aims to ensure that carers are able to make informed choices based on unbiased information.
In what situations might a carer need an advocate?
At meetings with Health, Social Services, Housing Departments etc when a carer is outnumbered.
When there is conflict between the needs of the cared for person and the carer.
When a complaint letter needs to be written
When a carer is unsure of his/her rights as a Carer
When important decisions are being taken upon a patient's discharge from hospital
When a carer is just too exhausted to stand up for herself/himself
When dialogue needs to be reopened between a carer and another party/organization.
What types of people act as advocates for Carers Together? Advocates might be paid members of staff or trained volunteers. In all events they will be people who are caring, assertive, non judgmental and good listeners. They act under the instructions of the carer and put the carer's needs and wishes first. Advocates act under a strict code of confidentiality which is fully explained at the outset of a piece of advocacy.
Advocates come from a number of different backgrounds and will not be experts in any particular field. Each advocate has individual strengths and will know when to seek help or guidance from their manager or another organization. They will never tell someone what to do but they will allow each carer to understand his or her choices by helping to provide appropriate information. Advocates are trained to take 'self' out of their work and to work wholly from the perspective of the carer.
If, as you read this, you think that you would like to be a volunteer advocate then please do contact us either by phone or e-mail.