Where a report of possible harm has been made, the adult at risk may require an advocate to support them through the adult protection process.

What is advocacy?

Sometimes it may be challenging for a person to make themselves heard, understood and accepted. There can be many reasons for this. Advocacy provides people with a voice, ensures their needs and wishes are known, views are respected and rights protected. Advocacy is closely linked to the principles of human rights, discrimination, equality of opportunities and the social model of disability.

In South Lanarkshire the contracted advocacy services are:

The Advocacy Project (TAP)

The Advocacy Project employs staff to act as independent advocates for people who have difficulty speaking up. The advocates are well trained and supported by the Project. They are all subject to checks under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme and are bound by a number of policies and procedures that include things like confidentiality and adult and child protection.

Unfortunately, independent advocates cannot guarantee results but they can ensure that a person’s voice is heard and considered in all situations. Neither are advocates a substitute for other services like health or social care, welfare rights, solicitors etc.

Mental Health Service

You are eligible for this service if you:

  • Are 16 – 65
  • Are resident in South Lanarkshire when the referral is made
  • Have a mental health issue, although a formal diagnosis is not needed

People affected by the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 have a legal right to independent advocacy.

Older People Service

You are eligible for this service if you:

  • Are 65 or over
  • Are resident in South Lanarkshire when the referral is made

We will support people with all sorts of issues, but this service has a focus on older people affected by mental ill health and/or incapacity and those at risk of harm.

  • The Advocacy Project provide a free and confidential service that is independent of the NHS and Social Work.
  • Independent advocacy can benefit those living at home, in care or in hospital.
  • Our advocacy workers work with a number of clients, usually on a one to one basis, but we also support groups of people who have issues in common.

Speak Out

Speak Out is an advocacy project which is managed by Ace Advocacy and funded by South Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire.

It aims to help people with learning disabilities to speak up for themselves so that they can participate in decisions about their lives. If a person cannot speak up for themselves, Speak Out will provide a spokesperson who will express that person's opinions as if they were his or her own. The project was established in 1997 to support people living in South Lanarkshire (excluding Rutherglen and Cambuslang) whose lives are changing.

Speak Out Advocacy Project provides an advocacy service for individuals with learning disabilities. Our aim is to assist people to have more say in the services they receive and to obtain information in order to be able to make choices. We also assist people with raising issues which concern them, in order that these can be properly addressed. Speak Out also has access to channels to raise more general issues regarding Learning Disability Services.