Author: Age Cymru
Published on 22 September 2015 11:00 AM
Experts from around the country will be gathering in Mid Wales tomorrow to ask if new laws will actually protect vulnerable people from harm.
The National Network for Older People’s Advocacy in Wales meeting will explore how the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) can give a voice to people who need help.
Age Cymru and the National Network for Older People’s Advocacy in Wales - who both champion the use of advocacy services for older people, are organising the event.
Advocacy services help people who are potentially vulnerable to make their own decisions, have their voices heard and protect them from abuse.
Advocacy services also give people control over their lives by giving them the information that they need to make the right decisions for them.
Says Age Cymru’s Director of Influencing & Programme Development Victoria Lloyd, who is chairing the event:
“The charity sector worked hard to ensure the Welsh Government included access to advocacy services for people who need them in the new Social Servicers and Wellbeing Act (Wales).
“We welcomed the passing of the legislation and the Welsh Government’s commitment to embed advocacy as a golden thread running through the act.
“But, six months away from the duties in the act coming into force, we have concerns about how effective they will actually be in improving older people’s lives.
“Among the concerns we have is that the onus is on officials to decide whether an advocate is needed; we think it should be down to the older person.
“We also think that funding for advocacy services must be a government priority in future so that older people have better access to them.”
Speakers will include Clare Lane from the Older People’s Commission for Wales, Andrew Dunning from Swansea University and Paul Swann from Disability Wales and Nicola Russell-Brooks from Age Cymru Swansea Bay.