Access to independent advocacy: an evidence review: report for the Office for Disability Issues

Document type
Townsley, Ruth; Marriott, Anna; Ward, Linda
Office for Disability Issues
Date of publication
1 October 2009
Disabled people, Social Policy, Social Work, Social Care and Social Services
Social welfare
Material type

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This review delivers on the government commitment to investigate the effectiveness, cost and benefit of advocacy support for disabled people, in situations where they are at particular risk of losing choice and control, by systematically identifying, evaluating and synthesising the evidence relating to the need, benefits and costs associated with independent advocacy for disabled people. The report examines the four situations specified by the Independent Living Strategy, namely: during transition to adulthood; when the children of disabled parents are subject to safeguarding procedures; when entry to residential care is a possibility; and when disabled people are victims or alleged perpetrators of anti-social behaviour. This report summarises key themes from the UK and international research literature, and also highlights the extent and nature of gaps in the current evidence base. The report concludes with recommendations for further research that might strengthen the evidence base regarding the costs and benefits of independent advocacy. These include quantifying and describing the need for independent advocacy, describing and evaluating the benefits, and quantifying and assessing cost effectiveness.

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