If you are a care leaver, in care, have been told that there is to be a child protection conference about you, if you are disabled, then you have the right to an advocate. You may be entitled to an advocate for another reason. We also provide mental health advocates if you are unwell and in hospital.
An independent advocate will help you to be heard when important decisions are being made about your life. An advocate will go to meetings with you if that is what you want. They will help you to talk about your wishes and feelings. If you find meetings difficult they will support you. Sometimes they will go to meetings for you if that is what you want. An advocate will help you to start, change or stop something in your life. They will also talk to you about your rights and entitlements so that you can make the right choices and decisions about your life.
The free NYAS advocacy app gives you direct contact with the NYAS helpline if you need an advocate. It also contains useful information about what your rights are if you are in care (including mental health settings), if you are a care leaver or if there are child protection issues about you. It is a quick reference for professionals too about advocacy and the services NYAS provides.
• Remote access to NYAS helpline wherever you are – this means that if you have a mobile phone you can contact the helpline by phone, email or Skype. You don’t need Wi-Fi to use the app. If you email us and want us to call you back, we will do this. Our helpline is open 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Mondays – Fridays and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
• Information for young people about getting involved with NYAS – At NYAS we have a Participation Team who provide opportunities for young people in care and care leavers to be involved in the charity and to develop their skills. For example we have trained young people as peer advocates so that they can then go on to be professional advocates. This gives them something to put on job application forms too. More information can be found on the NYAS Young person’s website at http://youngpeople.nyas.net
• Information about NYAS Legal Services – The legal team at NYAS support children and young people when their parents are in court because they cannot agree about which parent should look after their children. NYAS is asked to represent children and young people so that their wishes and feelings are taken into account in these proceedings.
• Information about staying safe and links to relevant websites – It is our responsibility to make sure that you are safe whenever we are working with you. We will keep confidential what you tell us unless we believe that you may not be safe, or that another child or young person may not be safe.
• Further information can be found at www.nyas.net and http://youngpeople.nyas.net
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