I am Nadeem, a senior advocate and I run a small team of advocates at Help & Care. Our advocacy service works with clients to help them in some of the situations they may find themselves in. Here I outline a typical 'advocacy' day for me.
- 8.00 to 9.00am: An early morning start to catch up on one of my main jobs; checking for new advocacy referals and then making enquiries to see how we can help the referred person. I have two new (Care Act) referrals this morning, so I make phone calls/ send emails to the referring social worker and a district nurse who have referred potential clients. After I have spoken to the referrers, I check the case loads of our advocates and then allocate the cases immediately as Care Act cases take priority over general issues cases.
- 9.00 to 9.30am: I meet one of our advocates to discuss a complex case and how they may proceed. We note that the client has spoken up clearly about what she wants, and we work out the best way to 'give effect to her voice' to Adult Social Care about her needs.
- 9.30 to 11.00am: I have a client to meet. The client has hearing issues and Adult Social Care are coming to do a financial assesment. I support the client during the assesment with Adult Social Care to ensure the client's views, wishes and needs form the basis for discussion and decisions about any package of care. We used evidence that we have gathered together, to show eligibility for a package of care. Job done!
- 11.30 to 1.30pm: I attend a Care Act review for a client. This is an annual review and is conducted by a social worker. The role of an advocate is to ensure that the client's wishes and needs are heard by the social worker and that, where possible, are put into the subsequent care and support package.
- 1.45 to 2.15pm: Lunch! A quick microwave of yesterdays stir-fried beef and chilli with rice and a catch up with finance colleagues in the kitchen.
- 2.15 to 3.30pm: I write up today's meetings with clients on our database which is for advocacy purposes only. I note the successes but also the areas that need follow up with the local GP and the Adult Social Care. I close the Care Act review case and make some phone calls for the financial assesment case. I have written authority from the client and I am able to speak to the housing association regarding some repairs that need doing to the flat.
- 3.30 to 4.00pm: I recieve some queries from our Single Point of Access (formerly our Gateway) regarding some possible advocacy queries that have come in during the day. We discuss whether a volunteer may be more suitable for one of the queries (to help with a backlog of paperwork for a client) and whether a referral should be made to Adult Social Services for a carers assesment. We decide that I will follow up the carers assesment and allocate it to a carer under our carers advocacy project. An advocate will be allocated to the case in due course.
- 4.00 to 4.30pm: I attempt to clear my email inbox but now will leave some of the non-urgent ones (office Xmas party!) until tomorrow. Off to the supermarket to buy ingredients for dinner.
So, another day ends in the life of an advocate. If you feel that you, or someone you know may need the help of an advocate, someone to speak up for them and help them with particular issues then do call our referral line on 0300 111 3303 and we will see if we can help.