The Promise Scotland publish ‘Scoping’ report on a national lifelong advocacy service

The Promise Scotland has published a new report for the Scottish Government on how a national lifelong advocacy service can be scoped and developed. SIAA and independent advocacy member organisations worked alongside other key stakeholders to contribute views while the report was developed by The Promise. The report has identified the ‘ten core principles’ (pages 5-6) of a national advocacy service – the principles being the first of four phases in developing the service for care experienced people.

A national advocacy service should be:
1. Independent
2. Cognisant of the unique and bespoke needs of care experienced children, adults and families
3. Rights-based
4. Accessible
5. Timely
6. Purposeful
7. Relational and holistic
8. Equitable, consistent and inclusive
9. High-quality
10. Sustainable

SIAA are encouraged to see independence, quality and sustainability recognised as principles, as we know these are longstanding areas of interest for SIAA member organisations. The ‘independence’ core principles is described as meaning ‘independent advocacy is distinctly different’ from other forms of advocacy and has ‘developed in practice over the last thirty years in Scotland’. This phrase ‘distinctly different’ helps to frame independent advocacy separately from other forms of advocacy. The report highlights upcoming work that will be completed to agree on a definition of independent advocacy which SIAA and members hope to contribute their expertise to.

SIAA note that although the report discusses a ‘national’ lifelong advocacy service, it emphasises that this does not mean a single provider: ‘but rather consideration of a national funding approach that would allow an enhanced offer of community-based advocacy support where advocacy providers are flexible to meet the needs of children, adults and families. This is where people live, work, socialise – independent advocacy provided needs to reflect the needs of the specific community.’ SIAA believe this approach will support quality independent advocacy organisations that are rooted in their communities and have built up networks over many years.

“The strengths of existing networks of independent advocacy providers should be built upon and their voices should be part of the development of a national lifelong advocacy service, in addition to the voices of care experienced children, adults and families.


The report notes that the upcoming Promise Bill ‘could be the legislative mechanism for the development of a statutory right to advocacy provision and associated redress and complaints processes.’ SIAA will be following the progress of the Promise Bill and lending their expertise alongside independent advocacy organisations and the voices of care experienced people to help shape the Bill.

Scroll to top