Birth Parent Advocate

Plymouth Highbury Trust

Name: Birth Parent Advocate
Organisation: Plymouth Highbury Trust
Location: 207 Outland Road, Plymouth, Devon, PL23PF
Type: Part Time
This is a long term position but need not take up more than 2-3 hours per week


Join an award winning team of Parent Advocates making a HUGE difference to families in Plymouth!

The innovative Plymouth Parent Advocacy Project aims to provide a comprehensive service to parents with a learning disability - including those that have had their children removed from their care.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of support once a child is removed, many parents will seek to replace the void by very quickly becoming pregnant again and the cycle is repeated.

We provide emotional and practical support to parents who are experiencing the pain and anguish of having a child removed from their care. This support will be provided through telephone calls, meetings, group work or support to access other local services.

We are looking for friendly, empathic and non judgemental volunteers to provide Advocacy and emotional support to a parent following a final court order (this may mean that their child will be adopted, under guardianship or in long term foster care)

The support is provided from the time when a decision is made to remove a child and for at least a year following the final court decision.

The role will be very person centred and will vary but could involve supporting parents
- at contact arrangement meetings,
- with letterbox contact with the adoptive family,
- at Looked after children reviews
- to read and respond to reports
- to access services and groups

Please look at the Parent Project pages on our website for further information:

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Organisation Description

The Plymouth Highbury Trust was established in 1956 under the name of Plymouth Mencap Society by parents of 30 children with a learning disability. The Trust has grown over 58 years and now caters for over 500 adults with a learning disability.

The Services we currently provide include:
• a supported tenancy scheme on site for 12 adults
• an evening social club in our recently refurbished community hall, twice a week, for over 100 people
• twice-weekly daytime activity group for over 30 people
• day service for approximately 30 people
• community enabling service
• DWP Appointee service for over 160 people unable to manage their own finances
• our own charity shop
• independent mental capacity advocacy
• independent mental health advocacy
• issue-based (representational) advocacy
• long-term citizen advocacy
• self-advocacy groups.


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Cause / Interests

  • Disability
  • Domestic Violence
  • Families
  • Human and Civil Rights
  • Legal Aid and Justice
  • Women's Groups

Types of Activity

  • Advice, Information and Support
  • Befriending and Buddying
  • Community Work
  • Counselling
  • Mentoring

Skills and Qualifications


Skills and Attributes:
• Self-motivated and able to work independently
• Friendly, empathic and non-judgmental attitude
• An understanding of working with vulnerable families
• Effective communication skills, confident speaking to a diverse range of people and an active listener
• Able to work in a confidential environment
• A strong team player
• Accurate record keeper
• reliable;
• Has knowledge of local services
• Some knowledge of social services/local authority processes is desirable


Benefits of Volunteering:
• Providing a rewarding volunteering experience
• Regular training and development opportunities
• The opportunity to gain experience in health and social care services
• An excellent opportunity to develop new and existing skills
• Being part of a developing team creating a new model of excellent practice
• The opportunity to build a portfolio of your training, skills, experience and qualities
• Opportunity to improve future employment prospects

Additional/Specific Suitabilities

Minimum Age: 18
Maximum Age: 75
Disabled Access: Yes
Wheelchair Access: Yes
Expenses: all out of pocket expenses covered
Restrictions: NA
Induction: full induction given
Insurance Cover: fully insured
Special Needs: NA
Offer: NA
Training: A minimum of 3 full days training with opportunities for further training available
Other: NA

Recruitment Method

Application form, Informal discussion, References, Information Day, DBS Check