National Youth Advocacy Service
Christine Renouf,Chief Executive
|Area served||England, Wales|
|Focus(es)||Advocacy, children's, young person's & adult's rights|
|Formerly called||National Youth Advocacy Service|
NYAS is a UK charity providing socio-legal services through teams of advocates and lawyers. NYAS offers information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to children, young people and vulnerable adults throughout England and Wales. NYAS provides a safety net for people of all ages who have nowhere else to turn.
NYAS provides a range of information, advocacy and legal services for children, young people and vulnerable adults to enable them to speak for themselves. NYAS advocates and lawyers help clients to express their wishes and feelings and to participate in decision making and planning that affects their lives. The charity also influences local and national policy makers and practitioners to acknowledge the legitimacy and importance of children's, young people's and vulnerable adult's rights. Formerly known as the National Youth Advocacy Service, the charity changed its name to NYAS in March 2012. NYAS works for the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
1. NYAS Helpline - 0808 808 1001
NYAS operates a freephone helpline providing access to all its services within England and Wales. The Helpline is open 9am until 8pm weekdays and 10am until 4pm on Saturdays excluding Bank Holidays. Assistance from advice workers is also available via chatroom, email and in writing.
NYAS provides a range of rights based services for children, young people and vulnerable adults through a network of qualified advocates. Advocates ensure that the views of children, young people and vulnerable adults are listened to, particularly in decisions which are made about them. Advocacy is also offered to carers to help them access services.
NYAS provides advocates for visits to children’s homes (including secure homes) and inpatient settings. NYAS Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs) also offer assistance to patients who are detained in hospital.
3. Independent Visitors and Independent Persons
NYAS is able to provide volunteer Independent Visitors for children in care across England and Wales, Independent Persons for the purposes of secure reviews and local authority complaints and Investigating Officers for complaints and Regulation 33 Visitors for children’s homes.
4. Legal Services
Family Law. NYAS provides separate representation for children and young people where a family court considers it necessary under the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR). Under FPR, ‘a child who is capable of forming his or her own views has the right to express those views in the proceedings with the views being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child. The child should have the opportunity to have their situation represented separately from that of any of the adults.’
Community Care Law, Public Law and Education Law.NYAS has a contract with the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to offer specialist help where there is a refusal by the local authority to undertake an assessment of community care needs or a failure to provide the necessary services under legislation such as The National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990. NYAS also holds contracts with the LSC to offer help to anyone wishing to challenge the decision of a public authority. This could be a complaint, an appeal to a tribunal or court proceedings such as a judicial review or obtaining an assessment and support for children and young people with special educational needs.
5. Separated Parents Information Programme
NYAS is a Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) approved provider of the Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP - Children and Adoption Act 2006).
NYAS is an accredited assessment centre for City & Guilds and Open College Network to deliver training in advocacy and children’s rights. NYAS offers The National Advocacy Qualification and specialist units including the IMHA (Independent Mental Health Advocacy) award.
NYAS operates under the name NYAS Cymru in Wales. NYAS Cymru is supported by The National Assembly for Wales.
The majority of funding for NYAS’ work comes from statutory sources. Individual, corporate and trust fundraising forms a small but developing area of income.