Advocates support, enable and empower young people to be heard. Our advocates are professionals who are highly experienced and trained in working with our diverse communities of young people. They listen, champion and fight tirelessly for young people.
Voice is an independent national charity committed to empowering children and young people in care and in need and campaigning for lasting change to improve their lives. The charity was founded in 1975 by an experienced social worker, Gwen James, in response to the high-profile death of seven year old Maria Colwell, tragically murdered by her stepfather.
'Voice for the Child in Care', as we were known then, began as a small networking pressure group, passionate about enabling children in care to have their voices heard.
Voice pioneered the concept of advocacy for children. In 2002 we succeeded in lobbying for young people to have the right of access to an advocate when making a formal complaint and when making representations. This year, following further campaigning, that right has been extended so that advocacy is recognised as an option available to children whenever they want such support, particularly when plans are made about their care and in reviews of those plans. An independent and confidential advocacy service, accessed directly by young people via a freephone helpline number.
Visiting advocacy services to children in residential care, secure children's homes, Secure Training Centres, Young Offender Institutions and psychiatric units. Policy and campaigning work aimed at promoting a child-centred care system. Investigating Officers and Independent Persons for Children Act complaints and Independent Persons for Secure Accommodation Reviews.
Independent Visitor Service for children with no regular family contact. Specialist training programmes for professionals including advocacy, children's rights, leaving care, complaints, participation and young refugees. Participation services through which young people can shape both Voice's services and the broader care system.
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