Advocacy

Are you in care (LAC), on a Child Protection Plan or leaving the care of The London Borough of Merton Jigsaw4u’s Advocacy Service can help you.

Jigsaw4u provides Advocacy and Independent Visiting services to Looked-After Children and young people leaving the care of the London Borough of Merton.

We also provide Advocacy for young people who might be going to a Child Protection Conference.

We will provide, on request, an independent person to act as a Children’s Advocate for a child or young person. This means that we will listen to what the child or young person has to say, and either help them to feed this back to their families, or professionals, or we say it for them.  Anyone can refer a child or young person to the service. You can even refer yourself!!

Children’s Advocates help Merton’s children and young people in care and leaving care to get their views across and be listened to. In practice, where young people have their own voice, Advocacy means:

  • making sure they are heard;
  • where they have difficulty speaking up; it means providing support;
  • where they have no voice; it means speaking for them.

Do you live out of borough? No problem. You can still have a Children’s Advocate. We can help you to write letters, support you at meetings, or help you to make a complaint if you are still not happy.

Children’s Advocates regularly attend LAC Reviews with children and young people. Young people have influenced decision making in their care plans as a result of giving their views. These have included change of accommodation, plans to get more support; changing schools, and more.
To perform our role effectively, we work in partnership with everyone that is involved in the care of children and young people. Only then can we really make a difference to their lives.

Jigsaw4u is funded by The London Borough of Merton to provide advocacy for looked after children and children on child protection plans.

Advocacy for children with child protection plans is important so that they can have opinions heard at child protection conferences and professionals can take their views into account when making decisions about the child and the family.

An advocate will go and see the child before a meeting, gather their views for the meeting and then present them at the meeting or support the child to share their own thoughts with the group.

We can do this for Initial Child Protection Conferences, Review Child Protection Conferences or Family Group Conferences.

Referrals can be made by LB Merton Social Care.

Jigsaw4u now provide an advocacy service for severely disabled children and young people staying at Tadworth Court. We want children with disabilities to have a voice and ensure that their opinions and views are being heard and listened to.

This is a new project for Jigsaw4u starting 2015/2016 and we hope that this will continue to develop into a really effective partnership.

Jigsaw4u’s  Advocates are people (over 18yrs old) from all walks of life and backgrounds. Before selection we interview applicants to ensure that they are right for the role.

Then they are fully trained in areas including communicating with children and young people, working within the social care system, and children’s rights issues.

Jigsaw4u provides trained Independent Visitors for the London Borough of Merton’s Looked  After Children (LAC) and Young People who do not often have contact with their family.

Independent Visitors understand the difficulties that children have when living away from home and will visit the young person often, just like an aunt or uncle would.

They will visit you regularly, help you to get involved in local activities, give you advice, help if things go wrong, and be a good friend.