Carers Count have a small team of advocates; Carol Short and Rehana Patel. Please find out more by watching this introductory video, or find some frequently asked questions answered below:
What is advocacy?
‘Advocacy’ is all about people having more control over their own lives. We help people to make their own decisions, speak up about what they want and need, and achieve their own goals.
Our work includes supporting people to feel more in control of the health and social care processes they are involved in.
Am I entitled to an advocate?
If you are an adult (over 18) and caring for an individual with additional needs, either you or the person you care for lives in Kirklees and you have an issue you need support with, we can probably support you. If we can’t help, we will try and find an organisation who can!
I get Carer’s Allowance. Can I still have an advocate?
YES! Getting Carer’s Allowance still means you are an unpaid carer and can have an advocate if you have an issue you need help with.
How would I benefit from having an advocate?
Advocates will work alongside you, at your pace. They are not there to tell you what to do or make decisions for you. Advocates will listen and will help put your views across. Advocates will never do anything about you, without you!
I am a carer but I don’t know my rights, can an advocate help me?
Yes. An advocate can help you to find out what your rights are and help you to access all the information you need to make your own informed decisions. You can also learn about carers' rights by watching the video below, or by visiting our Carers' Rights page.
My partner/dad/daughter is in residential care. Do I still qualify for a carer’s advocate?
Yes you do. We understand that the caring role still continues when your loved one is in a residential setting.
Is the advocacy service free?
Yes, there is no charge for advocacy support.
Would an advocate help me communicate with professionals?
Yes. An advocate would support you in communicating with health and social care professionals. This could be face-to-face, through an email or a letter or at meetings.
Can an advocate come to meetings with me?
Yes, advocates can go to meetings with you and be there at assessments if it would help. Advocates can help you to prepare for meetings, explain what to expect and be there with you. We can prompt you if needed and talk on your behalf if necessary.
Could an advocate help me make a complaint?
An advocate would help you in making a complaint to social services and other local authority agencies (such as the Accessible Homes Team, Client Financial Affairs or Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing). We would listen to your views and work with you in highlighting your concerns. We would support you throughout the complaints process.
My partner’s care package has been reduced, could an advocate help me to fight this?
Yes. An advocate can never guarantee you getting the outcome you want but can help you to challenge decisions that have been made about the person you care for if you disagree with them.
Social services have cut the direct payments. Can an advocate help me to fight this?
Yes they can but they cannot guarantee the outcome. An advocate would help you in challenging the cuts made and would explain the options available to you in fighting this issue, including making a formal complaint.
What kind of things could an advocate help parent carers with?
An advocate would help parent carers with any health and social care related issues or concerns you may have. This includes support at meetings, including child protection and child in need meetings, TAF meetings, care reviews and support at assessments. This list is not exhaustive; give us a call to see if we can help and if we can’t we will put you in touch with someone who can.
Can an advocate help me with claiming benefits?
No, this is not something an advocate could help you with, but they can refer you to a Carers Count Information and Advice worker or another organisation who can help you with benefits.
Can an advocate help me with legal problems?
No, as advocates have no legal training they cannot help you with legal issues, but they can help you to access the right legal support.
To access our advocacy service, please telephone 0300 012 0231 or visit the Contact Us section of this website.
Read about Julie, who had suffered from a brain haemorrhage and was struggling to continue to care for her mother, who lives with her and suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Read Julie's story.