The Care Act (2014) places a duty on Local Authorities to arrange an independent advocate for adults who are subject to a safeguarding enquiry or Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR).

Local Authorities must arrange an independent advocate to facilitate the involvement of a person in their assessment, in the preparation of their care and support plan and in the review of their care plan, as well as in safeguarding enquiries and SARs if two conditions are met:

  • That if an independent advocate were not provided then the person would have substantial difficulty in being fully involved in these processes; AND
  • There is no appropriate individual available to support and represent the person’s wishes who is not paid or professionally engaged in providing care or treatment to the person or their carer

The role of the independent advocate is to support and represent the person and to facilitate their involvement in the key processes and interactions with the Local Authority and other organisations as required for the safeguarding enquiry or SAR.

Sunderland has a local advocacy service provider, contracted by the Local Authority. This provider can support individuals going through the safeguarding adults’ process at no cost to the individual. Other advocacy providers in Sunderland are available if the individual does not want to use the contracted service.