Revisions to the National Standards and Statutory Guidance for the Provision of Children's and Young People's Advocacy Services

Closed 18 Dec 2023

Opened 21 Sep 2023


We are seeking to revise the National Standards for the Provision of Children’s Advocacy Services (2002) and the statutory guidance on Providing Effective Advocacy Services for Children and Young People Making a Complaint under the Children Act 1989 (2004).

The National Standards for the Provision of Children’s Advocacy Services sets out expectations for the system to provide effective advocacy services that aims to recognise and promote the views, wishes and feelings of all children and young people who have an independent right to an advocate. The statutory guidance sets out how advocacy services should be provided by local authorities to effectively support looked-after children, children in need and care leavers.

The revised documents include strengthened content on the effective delivery of advocacy services, stronger focus on the needs of children and young people, as well as creation of new standards.

Why your views matter

Revising the National Standards and statutory guidance is central to delivering our ambitious plans to improve advocacy provision.

High quality advocacy provision is important as it ensures that the views, wishes and needs of children and young people are heard by professionals making decisions about their lives and supports children and young people to navigate the system, especially in times of transition. High quality advocacy can be part of the solution to wider problems in the care system, giving children and young people the power to challenge poor practice as it relates to them and, at a strategic level, providing crucial evidence for local authorities to support system reform.

Your views are important, and we want to hear them. Your feedback will help us to revise these documents to lay the groundwork for improved advocacy provision. We encourage you to read the proposed National Standards and statutory guidance for the Provision of Children’s Advocacy Services as well as the consultation document before responding to the corresponding questions in the survey.

What happens next

The results of the consultation and the department's response will be published on GOV.UK in Spring 2024.


  • Local authorities
  • Bodies representing schools and local authorities
  • Pupils
  • Young people
  • Parents
  • Foster carers
  • Adoptive parents
  • Social workers
  • Those evaluating programmes for children in need
  • Those involved in underlying theoretical research on abuse and neglect, child development etc
  • Those researching children’s social care or education systems, with links to educational outcomes of Children in Need
  • Social workers
  • Team managers
  • Service managers
  • Directors of children's services
  • Adult and mental health practitioners
  • Health visitors


  • Advocacy (Looked after children)