Advocacy & Your Rights

A short film about Advocacy – A Voice to Trust – SIAA

Part one – One to One Advocacy

Part two – Group Advocacy, Self Advocacy

Advocacy is about:

  • Protecting your rights when you are vulnerable
  • Listening to you
  • Ensuring that you are listened to
  • Providing you with information so that you can make informed choices and decisions
  • Helping you to express yourself and take part in decisions which affect you
  • Respecting your right to make your own choices
  • Being there for you without conflict of interest

Advocacy must:

  • Be Accessible to all who require it
  • Be Accountable to those who use it and fund it
  • Put those who use it first
  • Be as free as possible from conflicts of interest

What do we mean by Vulnerable?

  • Some of us are vulnerable because of a physical or learning disability, or perhaps a sensory impairment. If you have a profound disability, you may want to access our service for long term advocacy support
  • Some of us are vulnerable because something has happened to us, perhaps we have become ill, or a loved one has
  • Maybe we have become homeless, or we cannot access a service
  • Perhaps a child of ours has been placed on the Child Protection Register
  • Perhaps we are vulnerable because of our age
  • At Dumfries and Galloway Advocacy Service we believe that we can all become vulnerable from time to time and our service is available to you at those times
  • We focus our services on the most vulnerable person in any situation

Advocacy is not about:

  • Providing you with legal representation or supporting you in court
  • Suing for financial damages or compensation
  • Welfare Rights support
  • Befriending
  • Counselling or Treatment

Advocacy is not, primarily about complaining or seeking confrontation. It is about:

  • Communication
  • Resolution
  • Helping you to be heard

At Dumfries and Galloway Advocacy Service, we will help you to find the right support if we cannot provide it ourselves

The Right to Advocacy

We believe that all people who are faced with vulnerability are entitled to have an advocate, someone who can help them to say what they want when relating to or seeking to access services.

In addition, legislation in Scotland gives people the legal right to an independent advocate. This legislation includes the:

Mental Health (Care & Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003

Additional Support for Learning (Scotland) Act

Vulnerable Witnesses Act

Children Act

Adults with Incapacity Act 2000

Adult Support and Protection Act 2007 

Under the Patient Focus and Public Involvement Strategy of NHS Scotland, access to Independent Advocacy for All Users of NHS Services is recommended in Dumfries and Galloway, we have a long tradition of providing this generic access to advocacy.

“Very helpful with my situation.”