OCYA Information for Children & Youth

What does an OCYA Advocate do?


OCYA Advocates work to ensure that all of a your rights, interests, and viewpoints are considered when decisions are being made that affect your well-being. The decision-making remains with your guardian and/or caseworker, but it is the Advocate’s responsibility to assist you to try to resolve any issues that you are worried about.

Sometimes you might feel powerless or uncertain when dealing with government systems. You may even fear that if you speak up you could get into trouble or you might not be taken seriously. These types of situations are when an Advocate can help!

The primary goal of advocacy is to elevate your voice.

This means much more than simply repeating your words. It is about having an Advocate stand beside you and ensuring that there is an opportunity for you to be fully heard.

An Advocate can assist you by:

  • being focused on the issues you identify
  • answering your questions
  • providing you with information and resources on rights
  • keeping your information confidential (protected by privilege)
  • listening and creating a safe environment for you to discuss concerns
  • explaining to you how government systems work and how they can best be navigated
  • ensuring that you have the opportunity to participate in decision making and planning for your future
  • discussing with you how disagreements can be voiced so there can be better outcomes
  • encouraging you to be your own best advocate
  • staying involved until you feel there has been meaningful resolution of your concerns

 

Based on your wishes, and the advocacy strategies you have agreed upon, an Advocate may:

  • provide information, suggestions
  • attend/request case planning, wrap-around or other meetings
  • review file information
  • ask that a decision be reconsidered
  • support you through alternative dispute resolution process(es) – letter writing, meetings, mediation, administrative reviews, appeals, etc.

(If a young person is not able to express their views, an Advocate can still become involved to protect his or her rights and work to ensure that all of their interests are considered during decision making.)

 
Call an Intake Worker to find out if you can speak with an Advocate.
1(800) 661-3446