A day in the life of a Children’s Advocate.

9am – Check & respond to any emails/texts and voicemails. Look at “To do list” for today (I love a “To do list” and couldn’t survive without one!)

10am – I support a young person at an Initial Child Protection Conference. I meet up with the young person 15 mins before the meeting starts. I speak to the young person about where they want to sit and who they would like to sit next to and talk through their wishes and feelings that we prepared during a previous visit and decide if the young person wants to read them out. The young person tells me that they would prefer that I read them out in the meeting to start with. I also support the young person with talking to the Chair of the conference before it starts. The young person is made subject to a child protection plan. After the conference, I speak to the young person about what happens next and arrange to visit them again before their first core group.

11.30 – Preparation for visit this afternoon. The Social Worker has said that the young person can find talking to new professionals daunting and nerve racking. The young person loves dinosaurs though. I brush up on knowledge of dinosaurs so that I can start a conversation about them. I also take a call from a young person who wants me to visit them this week. Book time in for tomorrow to see them.

12pm Some lunch

12.30 – Check emails/voicemails/texts. Email from Complaints Team with a Stage One response. I try to contact the young person to discuss this with them and leave a message. I will try and call them back after 5pm.

I also make some follow up calls with social workers, an Independent Reviewing Officer and school pastoral staff.

1pm Travel to next visit.

1.30pm Initial visit to a new young person. I begin by chatting about their day, school and dinosaurs. This seems to help the young person open up about some issues that they are experiencing at the moment. I discuss options with the young person and agree actions. I have learnt a lot about dinosaurs today

3pm Residential drop-in session. I speak to the young people who live there. One young person raises with me that they would like an increase in pocket money. I support the young person to discuss together with staff team. Staff team agree to speak to the residential manager to discuss further.

4.30 Back home, I follow up on actions agreed with the young people I have seen today. I take a call from the residential manager who agrees to increase the young person’s pocket money. I speak to the young person to let them know and they say that they are happy that they will be getting a rise in their pocket money.

5pm – Calls to young people and update case notes from today’s visits. I have a visit to a Care Experienced Young Adult tomorrow – look up legislation, guidance and advice around housing issues in preparation for the visit. Send emails/texts to confirm visits tomorrow. Write my very important and essential “To do list” for tomorrow!

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