Network Circle for Deafness
These are the services we provide:
Independent Advocacy (instructed)(also a generic Service Citizen Advocacy)
Can also be called crisis or case advocacy. A one to one partnership between two people, often provided by paid advocates. Independent advocacy shares the same principles as Citizen Advocacy, but is usually a short-term, one-off involvement, dealing with a specific issue in a person’s life. The relationship is normally time limited, but may last for several months, and may be covering several different issues/problems. When this has been done the advocacy partnership is terminated until it is required again.
What we help and support our clients with: -
- the person’s voice and views are heard.
- they have access to information and professional support and guidance.
- they have support to consider options, make decisions and with support act.
- they are afforded fair and equal treatment. Why Do People Need Advocates?
In general, those who run/deliver services and/or in positions of authority are not often very good at listening and responding to disadvantaged or vulnerable people. In this situation some people find it difficult to speak for themselves or comment on their care or services when they are in a distressed or vulnerable condition – this can be an isolating and frightening experience. Information is power – lack of access to information is a disempowering process. People often need an impartial individual to speak on their behalf and give them guidance, friendship and support. This can help people make choices and take control of their own lives – this is empowerment
A one to one partnership between two people. The Citizen Advocate is a volunteer who usually forms a long term relationship with their partner and takes a personal interest in ensuring that their partners interests are effectively represented. The relationship is based on trust, commitment and loyalty. There is an element of emotional support and friendship as well as a social element, which may involve introducing the partner to new experiences and/or activities. Could an advocate help you?
If you are a deaf, deaf/blind, Hard of Hearing, Blind or a Carer of an adult facing disadvantage or vulnerable and you can answer yes to some of the questions below then an advocate could be a good option for you.
- Do you find it difficult to get your views across to other people?
- Does it feel like people are making decisions about you but not in consultation with you?
- Does it feel difficult to speak and say how you feel in meetings?
- Are you unhappy with a service or an organisation and feel you need support to speak to someone or make a complaint?
- Is it difficult to consider options and make decisions because you are under stress or in difficult circumstances.
In some instances, those who provide services take on the role of supporting and representing their users, often to a very limited degree. In this case many service providers are often reluctant to speak up for those they serve due to fear of job security, endangering promotion opportunities, loyalty to the organisation over the person etc. Therefore, they may not make the best advocates/representatives – this is a conflict of interest.
Someone who is independent and outside of the service-providing agency therefore best fills this role. In this way they are not faced with the same potential conflict of interest and can ensure their loyalty is solely to the person for whom they are advocating.