Child Protection Advocacy Launched in Trafford We have launched a new service to help young people between the ages of 12 and 18 in Trafford. Child Protection Advocacy will help young adults have their say during Child Protection Proceedings and communicate their thoughts and wishes about how they are cared for. What is Child Protection? Child Protection focuses on the protection of young people who have been identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. It involves a series of meetings with various professionals, including the child’s parents and social worker, which seeks to find out if the child needs to have a care plan drawn up for them to keep them safe. How can we help? Young people often have many ideas and views about how they are cared for but don’t have a chance to communicate them. We believe that everybody – no matter their age - should have a say when decisions are being made for them, but something as simple as this can often be overlooked. Sometimes we can fall into a trap of making decisions that we think are in their best interest without even consulting them. A Child Protection Advocate works independently from professionals such as a social worker or carer to help the young person understand what is going on and why, and help them communicate what they want for their future. The Advocate can support the young person in meetings or even attend on their behalf. Ultimately, they work in their best interests, by listening to them and communicating their thoughts, wishes and feelings to those making important decisions. We believe that this support during Child Protection proceedings can help young people in Trafford feel happier, safer and live more fulfilled lives. What is advocacy? Advocacy safeguards children and young people and protects them from abuse and poor practice. An Advocate is an independent person who helps young people understand their rights and speak up when decisions are being made about their lives. Young people are very good at judging whether adults respect them or not so it’s important that we listen to them and respect their wishes when Child Protection Proceedings are initiated. Children who feel supported and respected are more likely to open up about abuse and things that are affecting them, in turn this allows us to keep them safe from harm. Since launching in Trafford in April this year, we are already making a significant impact on the borough and have so far managed to triple the referrals to advocacy services. How do I refer? Young adults are able to refer themselves for an Advocate, or can get their social worker or parent/carer to do so on their behalf. If you think you could benefit from having an Advocate on your side and wish to self-refer, you can self refer at any time, simply contact us on 0300 323 0965, send us an email or speak to one of our Advocates via our live chat now. If you are a social worker or parent and wish to refer on behalf of a young person, please download a referral form here. Speak to an Advocate online now Not sure where to go from here? You can speak to an Advocate online via our live chat - if it is out of hours, you can leave a message and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.