Volunteering opportunity

Advocate (Child & Adult) (Plymouth)

Purpose of opportunity:

To publicly support or recommend a particular cause or policy and/or putting a case on for young people/adults behalf
To support young people to have their voice heard when they are involved in meetings with Plymouth Child Care Services.

The Advocacy service support young people in Local Authority care from the age of 4 to 18+ to have a say at their regular child in care review meetings.

We also support young people from the age of 4 when they are involved in Child Protection meetings because here are concerns about their safety.

You would be visiting young people to help them to prepare for their meeting and then attend the meeting to either support or represent the young person.

Young People's needs are varied, some are asylum seekers; some have learning difficulties and some may have challenging behaviour. A minimum commitment of 18 months is required in order to offer continuity of support, as the best results are seen when a Volunteer can commit to a reasonably long period in this role.

Our training programme prepares you for this vital role.

We welcome enquiries from both Men and Women. We also welcome enquiries from 1st and 2nd year university students.
As this role will involve unsupervised contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults, we will require an enhanced criminal record check.

Key activities:
To meet with a child or young person before an upcoming meeting to support them in preparing what they would like to say.

To be with a child or young person if they are attending their meeting to support them in speaking up, to ensure they understand the process of the meeting and that their rights are upheld within that process.

To attend a meeting on behalf of a child or young person if they are not attending themselves and to ensure that plans are made for some feedback to the young person.

To support children and young people through the Local Authority Complaints procedure if they are unhappy with the service they have received from Childrens Social Care.

To attend regular supervision and volunteer advocate meetings with Barnardo's and to complete all relevant paperwork in a timely way.

Attitude/skills/knowledge required:
A Stable Adult, aged 18+
An interest in the welfare of Children/Young People in Care
A non-judgemental attitude to people from different backgrounds and experiences
Experience with Children and Young People Desirable
Good communication skills & ability to relate to Children & Young People
A playful and creative attitude
Reliable and trustworthy
Ability to work alone and follow guidelines to keep Children/Young People safe in the community
A willingness to work with the support provided by the Barnardo's project

Training, support or other benefits available:
A 4 day training programme that involves:
Understanding the needs of children in care
Understanding the role of an Advocate
Safeguarding Children/Young People
Barnardo's Volunteer Induction

You will receive ongoing support through Supervision and further training may be provided, if necessary.
Access to Barnardo's Training Programme and Internal Vacancy Listings


PIVAS, Barnardo's, Four Greens Community Trust HQ, Whitleigh Green, Budshead Road, Plymouth, PL5 4DD


Period covered by opportunity:

Days/Hours/ Time commitment:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Morning, afternoon

Minimum Age: 18+ years

Can be offered

Enhanced disclosure applies

Child and Adult Workforce applies