Independence of advocates queried

Children’s rights groups have raised fears that proposed advocacy
services for children in care would not be independent enough to
protect their interests.

In submissions to the recent consultation on the proposals,
concerns were raised that, without an independent advocate acting
on behalf of a child making a complaint, article 8 of the European
Convention on Human Rights could be breached.

The government’s Get it Sorted suggested “independent”
advocacy services, to be in place for all children in need by April
2004, could be provided by council-run children’s rights services.

Voice of the Child in Care said this undermined the principles of
independence, which could only be met if “services” were managed
entirely separately from social services.

The professional body Children’s Rights Officers and Advocates
added that advocates employed by a council would face a conflict of

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