Essex County Council currently commissions a single advocacy service providing both statutory and non-statutory advocacy. This service is delivered by Rethink and is available for all eligible children, young people and adults within the administrative boundaries of Essex (excluding the unitary authorities of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock). The all-age advocacy hub encompasses the following services:
- Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)
- Paid Relevant Person Representative (RPR)
- Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
- Independent Care Act Advocacy (ICAA)
- Independent Health Complaints Advocacy (IHCA)
- Independent Advocacy for Children and Young People
- General Advocacy
- Peer and Citizen Advocacy
In addition, the current advocacy service encompasses the provision of non-statutory community based, citizen advocacy to ensure that those individuals not eligible for statutory advocacy services can be supported to have their voices heard through the use of volunteers and the promotion of other low cost/no cost solutions.
This service was implemented following a procurement exercise in 2019 and the current contract will expire in 2024. The Council is due to consider the commissioning intentions for the next iteration of the advocacy provision. Further details regarding this process which is due to be conducted under a co-produced model will be published in due course.