Safeguarding Adults through Relevant Person's Representative services
It's often said that safeguarding is everyone's business, something that we're very familiar with as independent advocates working across the North East to help people have a voice and be protected in crucial decisions about their lives.
To mark Safeguarding Adults Week 2023 we're sharing some examples from our advocates to illustrate the vital role advocacy plays in safeguarding adults in our region.
My story as an advocate working with Safa
"A Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard resulted in Safa being moved into secure residential accommodation because of suspected abuse and coercive control by her husband. Safa was keen to leave this setting but wanted to go back home to live with her mother, not her husband. I was appointed as Safa's advocate, playing a dual role acting as her Relevant Person's Representative for the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard and also her Independent Care Act Advocate for the safeguarding referral.
"At first, Safa didn't want to attend meetings or talk much about her situation and her social worker told me she was anxious when discussing it so I worked hard to build her trust, keeping in regular touch through various methods, like video calls, and listening to her concerns.
"One worry she had was being seen with support workers and how her community would view it. The safeguarding board suggested moving Safa to independent supported living but Safa insisted she wanted to go back home to live with her mother. I advocated for her, attending meetings on her behalf when she couldn't and making sure her views were considered.
"I also supported Safa to challenge the Deprivation of Liberty order and arranged a meeting with a solicitor and supported her to talk about her situation. Over time, Safa gained trust in her solicitor and felt comfortable expressing what she wanted as an outcome. I helped her attend a round table meeting, a significant step for her.
"At the final hearing, the judge decided that Safa could return home to live with her mother with a support package of her design. Several months later, Safa emailed me to share that everything was going well, and her social worker was closing her case. She said, 'You instructed me a really good solicitor and paralegal. I am forever grateful for that, so thank you.'"
For more information about our advocacy service, visit www.yvc.org.uk/advocacy.
Names and some details have been changed to protect anonymity.