Have your say

This week’s Have your say debate centres on adoption
targets set by the government for local authorities. Do you think
councils are adopting children inappropriately to meet the

Have your say by clicking
and your comments will appear in this


Last week’s Have your say debate asked if people have
experience of effective advocacy, inviting people to share their

To read a recent article in Community Care on the
subject of advocacy
click here

These are the responses we received:

Direct government funding gives projects real
independence. This is a great step forward. But there is a crucial
omission, which I do not believe was the intention of the white
paper. There is money for citizen advocacy and money for self
advocacy, but there is no money for issue-based or crisis advocacy.
Citizen advocacy is still a luxury in many areas and issue based
advocacy is a necessity. Ideally, this should be delivered by
unpaid volunteers – in effect, short term citizen advocates. It can
often lead to full citizen advocacy. In not supporting this kind of
advocacy the government denies an independent voice to people for
whom a citizen advocate cannot be found in time to sort out their
problem and, incidentally to those who don’t want a citizen
advocate, but do, occasionally need independent support and

Anne Lynch


OSCA in Oswestry, Shropshire

I have grave concerns about the future
development of citizen advocacy in the UK if academics get their

Citizen advocacy is about human rights. Citizen advocates are
not meant to be experts – they essentially bring a human touch to a
system which often forgets people are individuals. Most
importantly, citizen advocacy is not, and never should be part of
‘the system’. Advocates are independent of the system, and
increased government funding brings with it the danger of being
drawn into it.

It is not meant to be ‘professional’, and giving certificates of
achievement to citizen advocates is totally against the principles
which uphold it. The article gives the impression that academics,
and some citizen advocacy organisations, under pressure from
government, are wishing to ‘professionalise’ citizen advocates. I
suggest that those who contemplate providing accredited training
for citizen advocates do their own homework, and re-examine those

Alison Wright

Citizen Advocacy Co-ordinator in Glasgow


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