Advocacy for children and young people

An Independent Advocate is someone who listens and helps a young person to have their voice heard in decisions made about them.

You can ask to have an Independent Advocate if you are a:

  • child or young person involved with our children’s services
  • child or young person with a social worker
  • care leaver

Young people have a right to be listened to and have their views taken seriously, but sometimes it can be difficult to say how you are feeling. We can help young people by arranging an Independent Advocate.

An advocate can support a young person (5 years and over) at a Child Protection meeting, Child Looked After review meeting, Leaving Care meeting, to make a complaint or can offer support at a Children's Services meeting where a young person is involved and wants support to have their voice heard.

Independent Advocate

An Independent Advocate is someone who doesn’t work for Bracknell Children’s Services. They will make sure you get your views across and your voice heard. They are on your side and work for you.

You might already know someone that can support you, a person you can trust for example a teacher, youth worker or personal adviser. Or it could be a volunteer, someone independent who is trained to be an advocate. You can discuss who you think would be best with your social worker.

When you might want to use an advocate

You might want to use an advocate:

  • if you feel your views are not being listened to
  • if you are unhappy with the way you are being cared for
  • if you are angry or upset about something that is happening to you
  • if you feel you haven’t been treated fairly
  • if no one is telling you what is happening about your situation
  • if decisions are being made about you that you haven’t been involved in
  • if you want to make a complaint

An advocate will:

  • help you speak up for yourself or speak on your behalf if that’s what you want
  • listen to your concerns or worries and help you to act on them
  • be open and honest with you
  • help you challenge decisions
  • help you prepare for meetings
  • explain to adults how you are feeling
  • explain to you what is happening and what is planned to happen
  • help you to sort out a problem if you are thinking of making a complaint

An advocate does not necessarily make things better. There may be some things that can’t be changed, but they will make sure everyone knows how you feel and help you to understand why the decision has been made.


Your advocate must promise to keep what you say private unless you agree to it being passed on. However, they may have to pass on information to Children's Services if they think you might be at risk of harm.

Find out more 

Speak to your social worker or the Child Participation Development Officer and they will talk you through it and see if an advocate is what you need.

Get in touch to ask for an Independent Advocate

To ask for an Advocate, contact the Child Participation Development Officer by:

You can also contact The Advocacy People by: