Children’s Rights & Advocacy Service
We provide the children’s rights and advocacy service for all young people entitled to receive support from Kent and Medway Specialist Children’s Services. Our advocates will be alongside young people at important meetings, speaking on their behalf or encouraging and enabling them to speak up for themselves.
Our advocates support young people by enabling them to have their voices heard in looked-after child reviews, care proceedings and Family Group Conferences and on issues such as education, placements, leaving care and family contact.
“My advocate was really helpful, friendly and easy to talk to. It was good to have someone with me at my meetings who I could trust.” Kayla | young person
A young person can contact YLF if they feel they need advocate, or someone can do it on their behalf. This could be a family member, a friend, a teacher or a social worker.
Children in Care Council (Medway)
The Children in Care Council (CiCC) is a forum in which young people in Medway’s care discuss issues and concerns with the Director of Children’s Services and other senior managers. We have encouraged and supported young people’s involvement in the Council since it was formed in 2007 and have helped the young people make a big difference for all of Medway’s young people in care.
“Being part of the CiCC gives me a focus. I am determined to help change change the system so that others will not experience what I have.” Daniel | CiCC member
See our Big Difference pages for more information.
Appropriate Adult Service
Our volunteer’s dedicate over 10,000 hours each year acting as appropriate adults in Kent Police custody suites. They support young people or vulnerable adults, when parents or carers are not available.
An important part of the appropriate adult’s role is to ensure that those detained by the police understand their rights and to act on behalf of the detained person to protect those rights if necessary.
“The skill, dedication and empathy the volunteers show to detainees is first class. It is a vital service and I am grateful to the volunteers for their continued support.” Mark Chambers | Chief Inspector, Kent Police
Accompanying Adult Service
When a local authority does not accept what an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child says about their age, two social workers undertake an age assessment. Volunteer accompanying adults act independently from the local authority to ensure that age assessment interviews are conducted properly and fairly.
Our accompanying adults are fully trained to ensure they can give the best support. They ensure that the child understands their rights, the meaning of the procedures taking place and facilitate communication between all parties.
Independent Person Service
An Independent Person (IP) is appointed to oversee the process of a Stage Two Complaints Investigation about children’s services which fall under the statutory complaints procedure.
An IP is not an advocate for the complainant. The role of the IP is to work alongside the Investigating Officer (IO) to provide an independent and objective view to the investigation of the complaint.
Our IPs will comply with timescales for completion (up to a maximum 65 working days) in line with the requirements of The Children Act 1989 Representations Procedure Regulations and Guidance, ‘Getting the Best From Complaints’. They will provide a written report on the investigation written in plain language.