Megan is a 15-year-old girl, who was in hospital on a community treatment order (CTO). She self-referred to independent advocacy as she had a Mental Health Tribunal coming up to vary her CTO. The independent nature of the advocacy was very important to Megan, as she had previously had negative experiences with mental health and social work services. The independent advocate supported her through the whole process and the CTO was not renewed.

The relationship between Megan and the independent advocate continued, with support being provided in a number of ways, including during Children’s Hearings procedures, during social work ‘looked after and accommodated’ reviews, reintegration back into school and considering housing and career options.

The independent advocate helped Megan to communicate to all the agencies involved and to give her own views. At the start of the process, she was very shy and quiet and struggled to speak with others. Advocacy empowered her to have the confidence to speak out and not be afraid, as well as to believe that her views and opinions really do matter.

The independent advocacy relationship supported Megan in achieving many positive outcomes – her Compulsory Supervision Order (CSO) was terminated at a Children’s Hearing, her CTO was removed, she re-integrated into education and moved into a new home. Overall, Megan feels she is now living a very different life and is confident moving forward knowing that independent advocacy will be there to support her if and when she needs it.

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