Author: Age Cymru
Published on 13 June 2013 01:00 PM
Age Cymru has welcomed today’s announcement by the Deputy Minister for Social Services about advocacy in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill.
Commenting on the inclusion of the Statutory Framework for Advocacy in the Bill, Age Cymru’s Policy Advisor Amy Clifton says:
“We strongly welcome today’s statement on the intention to amend the Bill to extend the availability of independent advocacy services in Wales.
“This follows our united call for advocacy to be included in the Bill last week which has been supported by 74 organisations who represent people from all walks of life.
“Advocacy is a priority for Age Cymru and we are pleased the Welsh Government has listened and said it has been persuaded to take action on advocacy in this legislation.
“We’re very encouraged to see that the Deputy Minister has recognised that for some individuals there are times when having access to an independent advocate who can represent them and be their voice to communicate their views and wishes, is absolutely critical.
“With our Rule Out Abuse campaign Age Cymru has continued to press the message that access to independent advocacy is crucial in safeguarding adults at risk of abuse.
“Independent advocacy can help to redress the power imbalance that occurs in abuse and can enable the person who has been abused to take back some control over their life.
“This is why we are particularly pleased to see the commitment for regulations to require that independent advocacy is provided to people when the local authority is investigating a concern of risk or abuse.
“Age Cymru maintains that it is important that individuals are not automatically denied access to advocacy on the assumption that they have someone who can speak up for them (such as family), as this will not always be appropriate.
“The regulations must be worded carefully to ensure that this is not the case.
“There is much work still to be done but today’s statement is an important step forward and it is vital that these positive intentions are translated into reality through the legislation to ensure that the Bill delivers real voice and control for people in Wales.“
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