Unit name: Communication in care settings
Learning outcome: 3. Be able to overcome barriers to communication
Assessment criteria: 3.7 Explain the purposes and principles of independent advocacy
Independent advocacy is a service that helps individuals to speak up for themselves if they are unable or unwilling to do so themselves.
An advocate will speak to the individual to get an understanding of their needs and preferences and then speak up for them in meetings if they feel assumptions or decisions are going against what the individual wants. They will always have the best interests of the individual in mind and should not have a conflicting role that could bias their opinions – for example, a representative from the care company that an individual is receiving care from would not be considered independent because operational responsibilities would be a conflict of interest.