Professional Zone

Advocacy for yp in secure homes


 

In March 2014, 229 young people were living in secure children’s homes.  Children aged 10 – 17 are placed in secure children’s homes under welfare grounds for the protection of themselves or others or when remanded or sentenced by the courts.  They have often experienced traumatic events such as abuse and neglect which can leave them feeling isolated from their communities and vulnerable to gang culture, cycles of offending behavior and sexual exploitation.  They are among the most vulnerable young people in the country and can feel isolated and despairing. 

Our advocates visit each home regularly to give every young person opportunities to speak to someone independent from the staff responsible for running the home.  They act on young people’s instructions, helping them speak up for themselves to resolve concerns and conflicts. Advocates provide information on what young people are entitled to and how they should be treated.  They can also go to meetings with young people and work with professionals to ensure their needs on returning to the community are planned for.  An advocate’s aim is to ensure young people are listened to and their rights are upheld inside the home and to support their resettlement when they return to their community.

Visiting advocacy to secure children’s homes provides a vital independent safeguard for these vulnerable and marginalized young people.  Advocacy helps to improve the standard of care for young people living in secure establishments and empowers them to understand their rights and negotiate more effectively to achieve the outcomes they seek and need.  Advocacy can also help to ensure that they go on to live somewhere safe and are reintroduced into the community with real hope for their future and support to prevent them returning to a secure setting.  Advocates can also arrange advocacy support for young people in  preparing for and participating in their Secure Accommodation Reviews

For more information about advocacy in secure settings please contact our Head Office on 020 7833 5792 or email info@coramvoice.org.uk.