“Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need. Advocates and advocacy schemes work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. Advocacy promotes social inclusion, equality and social justice.”
The Advocacy Charter 2014
Bilingual advocates support more vulnerable and isolated service users by working independently for better co-ordination of health and social care services. They speak the same language and share cultural connections with service users. They gather, present and facilitate access to quality information. Bilingual advocates take instruction from service users and act on mutually agreed plans and preferred outcomes. They attend appointments to support service users to make informed choices by understanding options and the consequences of any decisions to be made. Empowerment is central.
“Empowerment is a process of internal and external change. The internal process is the person`s sense of belief in her (his) ability to make decisions and solve her (his) own problems. The external change finds expression in the ability to act and to implement the practical, the knowledge, the information, the skills, the capabilities and the other new resources acquired in the course of the process”.
Bilingual Advocates are accredited and adhere to the 11 principles of the Advocacy Charter http://www.qualityadvocacy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Code-of-Practice.pdf
Bilingual Advocates use regular Peer Support Sessions to reflect on their practice, share experiences and exchange useful resources.
The Bilingual Advocacy Project aims to support people to make a difference in 8 areas – linked to the general responsibilities and key duties of the Care Act 2014:
- Control – Informed action to address issues negatively affecting well-being
- Independence – Support people to manage their own health and well-being
- Voice – Confidence to make appointments, book interpreters, consider ESOL classes
- Information – Information to navigate services more easily
- Access – Connect social care and health to improve service user experience
- Sign-Post – Referral to specialist services where appropriate
- Quality of Life – Better management of long term conditions and quality of life
- Prevention – Encourage appropriate service use and avoid unnecessary admissions