Read aloud or translate

We respond to revised guidance for the Provision of Children and Young People’s Advocacy Services

18 December 2023

VoiceAbility’s response to the Department for Education consultation on the Revisions to the National Standards and Statutory Guidance for the Provision of Children and Young People’s Advocacy Services

Today we’re delighted to release our consultation response on the revised National Standards and Statutory Guidance for Children and Young People’s Advocacy. This consultation begins a long overdue refresh of the current standards and guidance, which haven’t been updated since 2002 and 2004 respectively. 

We’re pleased to see new content on co-design, whistleblowing, safeguarding and non-instructed advocacy, which we highlight in our response. We also call for strengthened content on: 

  1. safeguarding in institutional settings 
  2. equality and inclusion 
  3. independent advocacy, including advocacy service’s ability to engage with government 
  4. the quality of children and young people’s advocacy services 

Rupen Gahir Kalsi, Senior Policy and Influencing Officer, comments: Overall, these standards are a step in the right direction for children and young people’s advocacy. 

However, we’re concerned the overarching principles for the new standards are undermined by the context children and young people’s advocates operate in now. 

We know the social care sector is under pressure, and that recruitment and retention rates continue to worsen. The same is true of the children’s social work workforce, which reported a 21% increase in vacancy rates this year.”

Improving this context is fundamental in delivering services that put children and young people at the heart of advocacy.” 

If you’d like to get involved with our children and young people’s policy work please contact us at