Bristol

Changing Lives in Bristol

We are excited to be working in Bristol for the first time in our history.  On 1st April 2019 we launched our new Victims of Crime Advocacy Service (VOCAS).  Working with adult victims of crime and antisocial behaviour in Avon & Somerset.

This service will work in close partnership with other victim support providers, and local specialist organisations.

On 1st February 2020 we launched our Independent Care Act Advocacy in the city, commissioned by Bristol City Council.

Victims of Crime Advocacy Service (VOCAS)

We launched VOCAS in Bristol on 1st April 2019.

Adult victims can access advocacy, alongside practical and emotional support to help them to cope and recover from their experience and to engage with the criminal justice system if they choose to do so.   This enhanced adult service will be available for

  • adult victims who have barriers or additional support requirements linked to:
  • adult victims who have been targeted because of their:

*Race *Religion *Sexuality *Gender Identity *Mental health issues *Learning difficulties *Physical disabilities *Problems associated with old age *Problems associated with social exclusion or isolation

Find out more by visiting our VOCAS page.

Independent Care Act Advocacy

Our new Independent Care Advocacy Service commences on the 1st February 2019. From this date we will be taking referral’s from professionals for people to use this service.

Who it’s for: This service is for anyone who has a substantial difficulty in going through a care act process and no one appropriate who they would like to support them. The council will consider whether you have an ‘appropriate individual’ to support you. An appropriate individual could be someone in your family, a friend or your unpaid carer. If you do not have an appropriate individual then you have the right to an Independent Care Act Advocate.

Care Act Advocates can support:

– Adults

– Carers of an adult or young person who is about to start using adult services

– Children or young people who are moving to adult care services

If the council is making decisions about your care and support they must consider whether you would have ‘substantial difficulty’ being involved. Substantial difficulty means that you have difficulty in:

– Understanding information, what is happening and your available choices

– Remembering information

– Involving yourself in decisions about what care and support you need

– Telling people your views, wishes and needs

Why it exists: The Care Act says local councils must involve people in decisions about their care and support. An advocate can help you be heard, understand your choices and make your own decisions about your care needs. Changes brought in by the Care Act mean that any decisions about your care will consider your welfare and what is important to you so you can stay as healthy and independent as possible. Advocacy will be available during:

– Your care and support needs assessment

– Your care and support planning

– Your care and support reviews

– Having a safeguarding enquiry (if someone thinks that you may be unsafe or at risk) or arranging for a Safeguarding Adults Review

What the Advocate can help with:

– Understanding what is happening

– Understanding your choices so you can make your own decisions

– Telling others what you want and about your views and feelings

– Making sure your rights are upheld

– Making sure that plans say what you need them to say

– Write a report about decisions you are unhappy with

Find out more about different types of advocacy here

To download a referral form click here