What is advocacy? How can it be used to support me? Can someone advocate for me? These are all questions commonly asked about advocacy. After all, advocacy can be a hard thing to understand or a scary thing to ask for, but it is not something to be afraid of! At NYAS, we seek to empower every child and young person, and advocacy plays a big part in that. But before going onto that, let’s explore what it actually is. 

What is it?

Simply put, advocacy involves making sure that your voice can be heard and you understand your rights. You might feel like your views aren’t being listened to, or that you have been unfairly treated. Sometimes you might want to be involved in a decision that you have been excluded from, like the choice to move to a different home. It can be difficult to speak up, and we understand that. NYAS advocates can help you with this.

The diagram below shows you the kind support you can expect to see if you receive advocacy through NYAS:

You may be wondering what actually happens during the advocacy process.

  1. Firstly, your advocate will meet with you to decide an outcome for an issue concerning a decision or event.
  2. Your advocate will represent your views to ensure that your wishes are heard by those that need to hear it.
  3. They will stay in touch with you and update you to ensure that you feel we are best representing your concerns.
  4. They might also discuss other alternatives to support you, should your wishes not be possible.  



Currently in Wales, all children and young people have an ‘active offer’ of advocacy. This means that when a child enters the care system, they will immediately be informed of their right to receive an advocate who can advocate on their behalf. While this is currently only in place in Wales, we are campaigning for the ‘active offer’ to be rolled out in England too. 

To find out more about our ‘Advocates4U’ Campaign, click here.


What next?

We know that it is not easy to tell someone personal information. You may feel embarrassed, scared, or vulnerable when telling an advocate information, but we are here to support you and listen to what you have to say. Our advocates are specially trained to support you. 

It is really easy to get an advocate; you can reach out to us through our free helpline on 0808 808 1001, online webchat, email or WhatsApp.


This blog post has been written as part of our internship programme with the University of Lancaster. For more information, please contact marketing@nyas.net