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Needing Independent Advocacy Service - Carers UK Forum

Needing Independent Advocacy Service

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I've been looking into Advocacy Services for some time. The ones commissioned by the local authority haven't proved any helpful, even just communicating with them has been extremely difficult; even though they're a 'free' Service.

I'm looked up Independent Advocacy/Social Workers. I know it's a long-shot, but seeing the Advocacy Services that have been provided, is it worth me asking for a Personal Budget to fund any alternative Services? As the local authority are proving very difficult to deal with. Unfortunately it's a Catch-22; nowt's ever easy.

Or is it worth me contacting a few places to see what they say?
Nothing to lose, so why not?
Hi Butterfly,

Personal budgets can be used to pay for an advocate https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-ca ... l-budgets/ However, I'm unsure if this only refers to an advocate for the caree rather than for the carer. I agree with BB, no harm in trying.

Melly1
Melly1 wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:41 pm
Hi Butterfly,

Personal budgets can be used to pay for an advocate https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-ca ... l-budgets/ However, I'm unsure if this only refers to an advocate for the caree rather than for the carer. I agree with BB, no harm in trying.

Melly1
Yeh, but who am I best asking? As Social Services are impossible - they just ignore me.
Hi Butterfly,
Unfortunately the only way you will get a personal budget is via social services.
Re who can advice on whether it can be used to purchase independent advocacy for the carer, you could ask the Carers UK helpline?

Melly1
So at this stage it's not about a Personal Budget, as I may be able to pay for the Service myself; be simpler. As have heard that my Mum may end up being charged, if I'm not accessing 'free' Advocacy provided by the Local Authority; that has never been Independent, whatever they claim.

I am in the process of making enquires about Advocacy Service that an Independent Social Worker provides. I have asked the question if they'd have enough clout getting the right outcome - as am thinking if the local authority's social workers have always used their position dictating/condescending/undermining me; may as well turn the tables on them. The response I got was that it's not so much about clout, as if there's resistance; things may end up in court. Which I'm not sure that's the right response. I thought that if an Independent Social Worker was worth their salt, things wouldn't need to go down that route - or am I missing something? Anyway I've asked them to send me a run down of how they can assist, and if I need to discuss further to phone them afterwards.
I only have experience of independent professionals in education. They are usually paid to offer advice and write a report. Either the education authority accepts this report and acts on (unlikely if it contradicts the authorities employees) or it goes to tribunal etc for a hearing.

I don’t think an independent social worker would have any more clout with social services. I suspect they can advise, point out where the LA haven’t followed procedure and write a report. You can then use their report to fight your and your Muns corner. However, unlike an advocate who is supposed to represent your view ( I know this hasn’t been your experience, but it should’ve been), they will have their own independent view of the situation.

Melly1
butterfly68 wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:14 pm
I've been looking into Advocacy Services for some time. The ones commissioned by the local authority haven't proved any helpful, even just communicating with them has been extremely difficult; even though they're a 'free' Service.

I'm looked up Independent Advocacy/Social Workers. I know it's a long-shot, but seeing the Advocacy Services that have been provided, is it worth me asking for a Personal Budget to fund any alternative Services? As the local authority are proving very difficult to deal with. Unfortunately it's a Catch-22; nowt's ever easy.

Or is it worth me contacting a few places to see what they say?
I am sure that that option is out there, there is no problem in trying, and exploring all options available to you. I wish you best of luck.
The whole assessment system is unfit for purpose. I have been battling for years as a result. In theory my son is entitled to a personal budget. In practice the L A refuse. I have an advocate, and so does my son but little is achieved. Here is a very simple example. My son has two bicycles at his flat. The previous agency had them checked and serviced regularly. One was condemned 2 years ago. Then the agency changed. No one has checked them since, but they've been used regularly. Not checked. Not even oiled. I've raised the issue. SSD say agency say not their job. Raised again. SSD say agency will arrange any repairs needed. I wasn't talking repairs, I was talking maintenance. How will they know repairs are needed if they are never checked????
I had an advocate when i attended a carers assessment, i might as well have taken a lamp post along with me to the meeting.

I pointed out how much i was having to do for my friend as the paid carers just couldn't wouldn't or were not allowed.

Like you say Bowlinbun, my friend had 3 care visits but was then left on his own 22 hours a day, no emergency care, no nothing, no family to help.

You are talking someone severely disabled barely able to do anything. All social services said use your savings to pay for extra care help and support.
My friend had no savings, had debts , was paying a debt management company, i used to help him out with money, buy food for him, treat him to a meal out occasionally.
I didn't get carers allowance, that would have helped me considerably.

The advocate should have fought to increase my friends care to reduce the burden on me, the advocate did nothing, didn't help me with complaints or anything.

And when my friend got an advocate the same, the advocate from the same company did nothing, my friend needed night care, the advocate did little to fight social services, go through complaints etc, 2 meetings and that was it never saw the advocate again.
It was explained that advocacy cannot change local authoritys decisions, cannot force the council to provide more care.

But surely the whole point of an advocate is to get what the person wants, to be able to access the services required.

The advocate is there to make sure the person can have their voice, give their opinions and is listened to, i was told, but if before the meeting the council has already decided NO, the person clearly isn't being listened to.

The needs assessment is just a waste of time , needs are identified , but the council then REFUSE we don't do this, we don't do that and that's it.

The council set a limit for the amount of care and that's it, although this is illegal and the council can't do this, they do.

Only by a lengthy legal battle will you get more care, cost thousands, which the average disabled person doesn't have and take years.
The government are wanting disabled people to live a "normal life" to work, or go to college, to be part of the community, to be able to socialise.
But ALL the help has just been cut.

To give a simple example, my friend wanted to join an evening choir, could he get help with this, could his carers take him there and back NO NOT ALLOWED.

The carers were not allowed to do anything, take him shopping, take him to the cinema, NO NOT ALLOWED.

It was only as i have said before by unpaid carers, friends and neighbours AND A LOT OF HELP FROM ME that my friend was able to live any kind of normal life.

It is just so unfair, so unjust and how about human rights? His right to have a normal life.

And what unpaid carer support did i get? NONE