Vulnerable Parents

Advocacy Services Wales has extensive experience and knowledge of working with vulnerable parents. Much of advocacy input has been to support parents through child protection issues or childcare proceedings.

Parents very often find the whole process of child protection confusing. They don’t understand what is being said or what is being asked and why. Meetings and court attendance can feel frightening and intimidating and the pace of such events can leave the parent feeling lost and frustrated.

An article by Beth Tarleton, (Norah Fry research Jan/Feb 2007) suggests that advocates support parents to enable them to engage more effectively and so avoid inappropriate responses. She also states that advocates understand the feelings of the parent and so recognise when emotional support is needed. Beth goes on to say that advocates who have child protection experience are able to understand the parents situation thus able to communicate appropriately and if needed challenge professionals on a parents behalf.

Advocacy support can be provided for:

- Support at core group meetings / lac reviews

- Solicitor meetings or court

- Liaising with local authority

- Accessing information

- Speaking for or supporting the parent to have a say

- Support parents to read / understand letters and correspondence