Clare Advocacy Platform

Clare Advocacy Platform is the self advocacy forum for people with a learning disability supported by the the Clare Services. The Platform meet on a quarterly basis with members of the service’s management team. Issues raised this year have included questions about transport contributions, the need for accessible personal plans and files and for a personal negotiated approach to each individual’s financial arrangements.

The C.A.P.’s newly elected chairperson for 2014 is Brian Hogan. He has replaced Joe McGrath who is currently Chair Person of the newly formed Independent National Self Advocacy Platform.  Also elected are Kilrush representative, Orla MacMahonas secretary, Martina Ryan, Treasurer, Concepts Command PRO and Declan O’Dwyer as vice-chair. The Platform’s inclusive research arm, the Clare Inclusive Research Group recently surveyed the ten self advocacy groups in the Clare Services.

The publication The Clare Self Advocacy Platform Review 2013 is available on line and calls for a strengthening and re-defining of the role of self advocate groups within services. It suggests they should be seen as having the status of  Customer-Consultant focus groups. In its recommendations the Review describes a  process which firstly encourages the development of individual and group initiatives and then through management and local group consultation indicates how such initiatives have the potential to influence service delivery through trackable developments. Examples of this direct influence have seen people receiving management backed flexible supports, service user led health and safety initiatives and the formation of social activity clubs.