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Help getting your voice heard - Advocacy and Complaints

 
You are entitled to be heard and to have your views, wishes and feelings listened to. 

If you need help with getting your voice heard you can ask for an advocate to help you.  

An advocate is an independent person who does not work for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council who can help you get your opinion or worries across or can speak on your behalf if you wish.

You can speak to an advocate about lots of different things such as;

  • I don't like what's happening
  • I want things to change
  • I am unhappy where I live
  • I don't understand
  • I am being bullied
  • I want to stay where I am

What do they do?

An advocate does not decide what is good or bad for you, they do not have an opinion about what you should say or do; their job is to stand up for what you want.

An advocate can accompany you to your review meetings and other meetings to support you, to speak for you if you feel nervous or in some cases they might attend on your behalf.

If you decide that you want to make a complaint an advocate can help you to do so.

If you would like an advocate to come and talk to you, you can either ask your social worker, Independent Reviewing Officer or you can visit www.nyas.net or call them on 08088081001

Independent visitors

Independent visitors are volunteers who choose to spend some of their free time with children and young people who are looked after.

They spend time getting to know the children and young people that they visit, they might do this as part of an activity, or just spend some time talking and listening to them away from the placement.

Independent Visitors usually support people who have no contact or very little contact with their families and would like to have someone who chooses to spend time with them.

If you think you would like an independent visitor then ask your social worker, Independent Reviewing Officer or visit www.nyas.net

How to make a complaint

If you are unhappy or something is bothering you, you should tell someone you trust about it rather than keeping it to yourself. 

If you feel you are not being listened to, and nothing is changing, you can make a complaint. 

There are lots of things you can complain about. Here are some examples;

  • I am not happy in my placement and would like to move
  • My social worker keeps changing
  • Nobody listens to me
  • I'm unhappy with the way I am treated
  • Everything takes too long to happen
  • I was settled in my last placement and you have now moved me to another placement

There are lots of different ways you can make a complaint. You could ask for an Advocate who will explain the whole complaints process to you and be by your side throughout it all.

You don’t have to make a complaint through an advocate though. You can ask any adult you trust to make a complaint on your behalf or you could do it yourself.

To find out more information about how to make a complaint, please contact the Children’s Services Complaints Unit on the free phone number (0800) 5877324.