Advocacy & Children’s Rights

YLF provide the children’s rights and advocacy service for all young people entitled to receive support from Kent and Medway Specialist Children’s Services.

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Our Advocacy Service

YLF advocates offer independent support to children and young people who are struggling to express how they feel or who feel unhappy about decisions made by professionals or family that has an impact on their lives. We believe the voices of young people are paramount and should always be sought, respected and given consideration in any decision making.

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What Advocates Do

Advocates work with young people to try to resolve their issues as quickly as possible.  This is often achieved by supporting positive communication and developing young people’s self-advocacy skills. Young people are also empowered by learning about their rights and entitlements.

Our Advocates listen carefully to young people’s wishes and feelings and ensure young people lead the advocacy support at every step. Advocates strive to help young people resolve their issues, however sometimes this is not always possible, on these occasions advocates will always help young people to understand why the decision can’t be changed and refer to other services that might be able to help.

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Who Advocates Can Help

Advocates can support children and young people if they are:

  • a Kent or Medway young person
  • in care
  • a care leaver, up to the age of 24
  • a child in need
  • subject to a child protection conference or Family Group Conference

Not from Kent or Medway? Our advocates could still help – just contact us for more information

What People Say

“Thank you for being by my side. I have been let down so much by social workers, you made things easier, you helped me. My Mum is not here but it feels like you care. I was neglected by social services. I don’t remember how I got your number but I know when I met you things started to get better.” Izzy, young person

“She was great, she was very good at understanding me and listening, she understood young people, she was very different to social workers.” Moe, young person

“I don’t think I would have survived without your help. No one ever listens to me or understands but you have helped me make them listen. I would have given up with my PA but now I have a new one. You kept going until they listened.” Adam, young person

What Next?

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Get an Advocate

Find out how to make a referral to start receiving support from an advocate

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Additional Advocacy Services

Find out about the other independent advocacy services we provide

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MCYPC

Find out more about our Council for young people in Medway