Reconstruct are a separate service, and are completely independent of a Local Authority. Our role is to support and relay the views and wishes of the child or young person and to ensure their voice is represented.
An advocate is someone who provides support to children and young people in care, care leavers and children and young people who are subject to a Child Protection Conference.
Advocacy means to speak up for those who may need more help than others – in this case, vulnerable children and young people. It’s about making sure they have a say in decisions that affect their lives. Advocacy is about listening to children's thoughts and feelings so that their voices are heard.
Our role in the delivery of advocacy services
Empower children to speak up for themselves or for the advocate to speak up on their behalf
Make children aware of the decision making processes they are going through and to help them navigate the process
Ensure that children receive independent information, advice and support and be able to signpost them to specialist support where necessary
Assist children in the swift resolution of complaints
Who is eligible for this service?
The Children in Care Advocacy Service will provide support and advocacy for children in care aged 0-18 years and care leavers up to age 25 who are placed both in and out of the authority area. This includes the following placement types:
Looked after children
Care leavers up to the age of 25
Children subject to child protection planning to make a representation
Over 16 and have special education needs or disabilities (SEND) and/or have an education
health care plan (EHCP)
Any age, with an EHCP and English as an additional language
Under 16, with an EHCP, without a parent who is capable of advocating on their behalf
16 to 17 homeless young people
Making a referral
The referrer completes the form on the referral link and this will be sent automatically to the coordinator for Surrey. (If the young person is homeless please complete the homeless referral from)
If the young person is homeless complete the below referral form
Within 24 hours the referral will be acknowledged by the Reconstruct team and within 48 hours will be assigned to an advocate. You will be contacted to discuss the following upon receipt of referral:
To let you know the status of the referral and who the Advocate allocated will be. If the referral is missing any information, they will also ask for further clarification, including any risks that the advocate should be aware of before meeting the child/young person.
Advocate will arrange with parent/carer to speak with the young person.
If parents or young person do not want to engage then advocate would complete a non-starter form and advise the social worker.
If the young person is aged 16 plus the Advocate will ask the referrer if it is acceptable for them to contact the young person directly.
An advocate will meet with the young person face to face or virtually (child led)
Please ensure invitations to meetings are sent well in advance to allow for an advocate to be allocated in good time and to enable the views and wishes of the child/young person to be collected. Should an advocate not be available due to delays in sending the referral, Reconstruct will not be held responsible for not unattendance. However, we will endeavour to support the child / young person.
We really want to get the word out that we are providing the Advocacy Service to young people in Surrey and surrounding areas and encourage you and your teams to send these out to the young people you work with: