Gill was referred to ICANN for support after having her children removed from her care. The Local Authority identified that Gill experiences some learning difficulties and may not be able to fully understand what is happening during the meetings, so they made a referral to ICANN requesting advocacy support for Gill during the child protection process.
Gill was required to attend numerous court hearings, meetings with her social worker and solicitors, including assessments with social services. She felt alone, frightened, and overwhelmed by the challenges she faced without a strong support network.
Why advocacy support?
Receiving support from an advocate during this difficult time was important to ensure a more positive outcome for Gill. Due to the traumatic nature of Gill’s situation, she was suspicious of the Local Authority and other professionals. As a result, she sometimes came across in meetings as confrontational and uncooperative.
How did we help
During the first meeting with ICANN, Rebekah introduced herself, explained her role, the support she could offer and how this would benefit Gill.
Over the next few weeks Gill and Rebekah built a strong relationship. Rebekah became someone Gill could trust and was able to contact whenever she needed support.
“Rebekah is one of the nicest people I have ever met” – Gill
As an Advocate, Rebekah ensured that her client fully understood what was being discussed and what they may need to do next. Gill felt listened to, understood, and supported to effectively communicate her wants and needs to the Local Authority, her solicitor and barrister.
The court meetings often took a long time, leaving Gill feeling very upset and frustrated. Rebekah’s support enabled them to work closely together to ensure that Gill attended all meetings and was able to remain as calm as possible to get the best result.
Rebekah has worked as an Advocate at ICANN for 2 years, providing funded and non-funded support within Lancashire. Within her role she works closely with Child Protection, supporting parents who are involved with Social Services, undergoing assessments, child protection plans, special Guardianship Orders or having had children removed from their care.
“I love my role as an Advocate; the work can be very varied, and I enjoy being able to support and empower a variety of clients in many different ways” – Rebekah – ICANN