Advocacy services


As a young person, parent or carer you may need an advocate to help you express your views and wishes, and help you stand up for your rights.   Below you will find details of advocacy services with different types of specialism. 


POhWER provide a number of advocacy services in the London Borough of Southwark, including the following:



How do I get support from an advocate?


To make a referral to the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy services in Southwark, you can download the form below:




If you are not sure whether you can get an advocate, or for more information, advice and support in your area, you can contact us on 0300 456 2370 or email

Coram Voice enables and equips children and young people to hold to account the services that are responsible for their care. We uphold the rights of children and young people to actively participate in shaping their own lives.
We do this because we believe in a society which recognises and willingly accepts its responsibilities to children and young people, where the inequalities and discrimination they currently face have been eradicated, where they are fully engaged in all decisions made about their lives and where their views, needs and feelings are at the core of those decisions.
Telephone: 0808 800 5792

CEN is a national education charity that supports children, young people, parents, families, schools, groups, organisations and communities across the country. They offer expertise in working with excluded children, children at risk of exclusion, and persistent absentees. Through our provision of free advice, support, representation, advocacy, mediation and restorative approaches, we help to restore relationships between the home and school and assist to successfully reintegrate children back into mainstream education.
Telephone: 0207 733 0297

Our Advice and Guidance Education Appeals Specialists give independent advice and support to young people and parents of deaf children on special educational needs across the UK.


Together with the Helpline and Advice and Guidance Officers, we provide specialist advice if you disagree with a decision and want to challenge it.


What we can help you with


We provide advice to parents of deaf children and young people up to the age of 18, including:


  • Challenging decisions by local authorities, including refusals to complete an statutory assessment of Special Educational Needs


  • Appealing against the decision not to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan in England or a Statement in Wales or Northern Ireland


  • Appealing against parts of the Education Health and Care Plan in England and Statements in Wales and Northern Ireland


  • Appealing against the school named in an Education Health Care Plan in England or a Statement in Wales and Northern Ireland


  • Complaints about the health or social care provision provided by a local authority


  • Disability discrimination issues in education


How we’ll help you


We can help you by giving you advice and identifying what your rights are, so that you can make informed choices and feel more confident about your case.


We will help you to:


  • understand what the rules are and options are, how to achieve the outcome you want and chances of success


  • know what will aid your case and help you to develop the right arguments


  • prepare appeal paperwork and support you in getting the right evidence and information


We aim for your case to be resolved as early as possible, but sometimes it has to be heard at an independent appeal tribunal.


If this happens we will guide you through the process and, in some cases, we may be able to provide representation when it is needed.


If we take on your case, you will have a named Advice and Guidance Education Appeals Specialist. Sometimes we use pro-bono legal volunteers to help with our cases but we will continue to have responsibility for your case.


Getting the most out of an appeal


So that we can give you the best possible support, it is helpful if you can tell us about:


  • Any deadlines that you have coming up


  • What has happened already


  • Important letters or other papers related to your case


  • If anyone else is helping you


Contacting us


If you think you may need our support, contact the Advice and Guidance Helpline who will be able to give you some advice and guidance and will see if they can refer your case to us.  Click here for website


If we cannot take on your case, we will provide you with guidance and find other ways you can be supported.


Helpline: 0808 800 8880

Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Free from all UK landlines and major UK mobile providers


SMS: 0786 00 22 888 (SMS)

Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Texts are charged at your standard network rate or taken from your monthly allowance


BSL Interpreter: BSL Interpreter Now

Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Contact us by making a free video call with a BSL interpreter


Enquiry Form: Contact form

Complete our online contact form at any time and receive a response within 10 days


Live Chat: Live chat

Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Chat to a member of the Helpline team online for free

What is a parent advocate?

Parent advocate is a voluntary role for parents/carers who have had previous experience of children’s services.


Parent advocates receive training to support and advocate for other parents.

Parent advocates use their own experience of working with children’s services to help other parents express their views, understand their rights and work with professionals to receive the right support for them and their family.



What do parent advocates do?

Parent advocates support parents and carers at Child Protection Conferences (CPCs) and other meetings with children’s services and help them to:


  • Express their views and concerns


  • Access information and services


  • Understand their rights and responsibilities


  • Explore choices and options.

Because parent advocates understand what it is like to have professionals involved with their family, they can:


  • Provide emotional support


  • Help other parents understand the process and what to expect


  • Discuss the professional report and help parents prepare for the CPC/meeting


  • Ensure the parent’s views are heard at the CPC/meeting



How can I request support from a parent advocate?


If you have been notified that a CPC (Child Protection Conference) or other meeting with children’s services will be taking place and you would like to have the support of a parent advocate, you can either ask your social worker to make a referral or email to request support. 


You will need to agree for the parent advocate to have access to:


  • Your contact details Information about why the CPC/meeting is taking place

  • A copy of the professional report for the CPC/meeting.


Please download our leaflet (pdf, 987kb) or visit the Southwark Council website for further information.



How do I become a parent advocate?


Why not use your experience of children’s services to support other parents by volunteering as a parent advocate.


If you are interested in becoming a parent advocate or would like any further information, contact the Family Inclusion
Coordinator on 07714 073719 or email


For more information about becoming a parent advocate, please download our leaflet (pdf, 977kb) or visit the Southwark Council website.

Inspire provide advocacy for Parents living in Southwark who require help in the following areas:


  • Housing, arrears and related issues

  • Issues related to EHCPs

  • Support negotiating Children’s Services 

  • Benefits (in particular support with Universal Credit)

  • Any other issue that they regard as a barrier to parenting their children


If you are a parent living in Southwark and you’re not sure if we can help with your issue or problem, please contact us anyway and we can signpost you to someone who might be able to assist.


We work predominately with younger parents aged 21 and under, however we do have some capacity to work with parents outside of this age group. 





Just for Kids Law exist to help children and young people overcome all the difficulties they face, from problems at school and issues with immigration status to trouble with the police.


With rising deprivation and public services under pressure, our work is more important than ever.


Please get in touch on 0203 174 2279, at, or make an online referral here


For school exclusion advice, please visit the School Exclusions Hub