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Advocacy blueprint needed to promote children's rights

Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner, is championing the development of a blueprint for advocacy services to help vulnerable children. The blueprint will help to ensure that these children have ready access to professionals and services that can support them in having a real say in decisions affecting their lives, under the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Children.

 

The Office of the Children's Commissioner has published, ‘Where is my advocate?', the first national scoping study, undertaken with Voice and supported by the National Children's Advocacy Consortium.

 

The work was carried out to establish an accurate picture of the advocacy provision available in England. A literature review was undertaken together with analysis of the information contained in relevant reports, publicity information and records available from local authorities and advocacy providers.

 

The findings suggests:

  • There is a postcode lottery system for children attempting to access advocacy, and;
  • No national strategy exists to ensure the entitlements children have are consistently met across England.

 

Maggie Atkinson, Children's Commissioner, said:

 

"Advocacy is essential for many vulnerable children and it makes a vital contribution to safeguarding and promoting their welfare and rights. Children and young people have often told us how helpful independent advocacy services are to them. We need to ensure support is available to all those who need it.”

 

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