Here at Dudley Advocacy we provide support to parents with learning disabilities, whose children are involved with Dudley MBC Children’s Services. We work with parents to empower them through the process and offer them a voice, whilst they strengthen their own.
In 2018 we received funding from the Tudor Trust for 3 years to continue our longstanding project and we remain committed to the work that we have done in the local community over the last 10 years.
We understand that the involvement of Children’s Service can bring unexpected changes and be overwhelming. If you are involved Dudley MBC Children’s Services, you are welcome to give us a call on 01384 456 877 to speak with an advocate or if you want to make a direct referral to us please complete our online referral form.
If you are a professional working with a parent or parents in such circumstances, you can make a referral on their behalf. We advise you to discuss advocacy with the parent/parents and gain their consent prior to making a referral.
Our project is unique as we are not funded by any local authority / local council and due this is we are entirely independent. We aim to work with parents and their child’s social worker as we respect the importance of joint cooperation in these difficult and delicate circumstances. However, we are user led, this means we remain under the instruction of our parent(s) and we cannot act without their permission. Trust is a very important part of Parents Advocacy and we ensure that we maintain the trust of the parents we work with. We offer this service to any parent with a learning disability, single or couples.
We generally support parents where:
A safeguarding investigation has been completed and a working agreement is in place. Sometimes this is known as a Child in Need Plan.
A Child in Need Plan has not worked, for whatever reason, and the case has moved forward in seriousness. This is known as Child Protection.
The child/children have been removed and are no longer living with the parent. This is known as Looked After Child.
Court proceedings have started and the matter is before a sitting Judge.
How do we support parents?
We can speak with social workers and other professionals on behalf of the parents.
We can attend meetings with parents and support them to raise their questions or ensure that their concerns are heard.
We can attend court with the parents as well as any meetings with their solicitor.
We have other advocacy services and we can support parents in other areas of their lives.
I am a social worker. Why should I refer a parent to you?
The government’s Good Practice Guidance document published in 2007 identifies the importance of involving an advocate for parents with learning disabilities and the need for social workers to make a referral as early as possible.
We work with parents to help them understand the process. This allows you to have clear communication with parents and to be assured that the advocate will endeavour to simplify the process and developments for parents to understand.
“I hate social workers, they want to take my children away”, we’ve heard it too, but it doesn’t have to be like this. Advocacy is there to promote a good working relationship between parents and their child’s/children’s social worker. We do this by clarifying any misunderstandings and finding answers to often simple questions.
If you wish to discuss any of this further or would like guidance before completing an online referral form please contact our main office on 01384 456 877.
How to make a referral for a Parents Advocate
Please click the link below to make a referral for a Parents Advocate.
Easy read application forms are available upon request.