Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 Part 10 Code of Practice (Advocacy)
This code should be read in conjunction with all relevant codes of practice and regulations issued under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 to require local authorities to consider people’s needs for advocacy where a local authority exercises a specific function in relation to that person.
Specific regard should be given to Part 2 (general functions), Part 3 (assessing the needs of individuals) Part 4 (meeting needs) Part 5 (charging and financial assessment) as well as statutory guidance issued under Part 7 (safeguarding) and Part 9 (co-operation and partnership) of the Act.
This code sets out:
people’s choice to have someone to act as an advocate for them
a clear framework to support and empower individuals to make positive informed choices
clear recognition of the benefits of advocacy
the range of advocacy available to people
the key points when people’s need for advocacy must be assessed
when independent advocacy must be provided
the circumstances that impact on peoples need for advocacy
the circumstances when it is inappropriate for certain people to advocate
the arrangements for publicising advocacy services and
Reference: WAG. (2015). Social services and well-being (Wales) act 2014: Part 10 code of practice (Advocacy). Cardiff: OGL
Under section 178(4) and (5) of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, the Welsh Ministers are required to make regulations to make further provision about a local authority’s duty to make arrangements to help children and young persons who want to make representations. This applies to representations by children and young persons about a range of the local authority’s social services functions which affect children and young persons.
These Regulations make provision about the categories of persons who, under the local authority’s arrangements, may not provide assistance to the child or young person.
When a local authority becomes aware that a child or young person wants to make representations, regulation 3 requires the local authority to provide information about advocacy services and help in obtaining the assistance of an advocate.
Regulation 4 requires a local authority to monitor its compliance with these requirements.
The Welsh model of advocacy in the context of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 is Independent/professional advocacy which takes the form of a partnership between an advocate and a person who accesses support. The advocate provides support, information and representation, with the aim of empowering their partner and enabling them to express their needs and choices. See more about Advocacy: Models and effectiveness.
This code of practice is a reflection of the 'rights-based' social care model that the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 represents. It details who is entitled to advocacy; what advocacy is and more importantly is not; who be an advocate and who is precluded and how the advocacy process is designed to work. The advocacy elements in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, are relatively new and remain (or appear to be) a work in progress.
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