Advocacy Plus

LCA promotes informal citizen advocacy within a context of Advocacy Plus. It has taken this approach throughout its existence, establishing the Liverpool Advocacy Forum in 1997, which brought together groups involved in providing advocacy, advice and information.

Advocacy Plus is an approach to promoting and protecting rights which recognises that there is a continuum or spectrum of advocacy ranging from the support and encouragement of a friend or relative to the intervention of a lawyer. It extends far beyond both formal and informal advocacy services to include other supports and activities.

Advocacy Plus also recognises the importance of people having choice in which type of support they wish to use and by whom these are provided. It acknowledges that much of the advocacy that occurs in our communities is provided in natural partnerships, when people stand by and support somebody that they already know.

However, these natural advocates often need help both in coping with the system and in dealing with conflicts of interest in their role. When the latter arises, it is important that they be assisted in recognising where others might be better placed to advocate more independently.

The Advocacy Plus approach recognises the important roles that informal citizen advocates and/or natural advocates can play in complementing other models of advocacy and how, through co-ordinated links to other activities, the effectiveness of independent advocacy services can be maximised. The development of the Advocacy Rights Hub, which LCA hosted until March 2013, was evidence of commitment to an Advocacy Plus approach in Liverpool.