What is Independent Professional Advocacy?

Independent Professional Advocacy involves a one-to-one partnership between an individual and an independent professional advocate who is trained and paid to undertake their professional role as an advocate. Independent Professional Advocacy is a service that can support someone to participate fully in decisions about their well-being and ensure that their views, wishes and feelings are heard, respected and taken account of. Independent Professional Advocacy supports people to have their rights upheld, to express their views and opinions, to make decisions about things that affect them, and to present these views at meetings.

“Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need. Advocates and advocacy schemes work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. Advocacy promotes social inclusion, equality and social justice.”  (Action for Advocacy, 2002).