Best interests

People often think that independent advocacy is about working in the best interests of individuals. In fact, sometimes independent advocacy is about supporting people to explore, understand and express something that is not in their own best interests but is nonetheless what they want. Often professionals and organisations make decisions that are in the best interests of an individual because they have a duty to do so. Independent advocacy does not have such a legal duty. An effective independent advocate needs to challenge, question and hold professionals to account when best interests are given as a reason for decisions made about their advocacy partner.