This chapter will use the story of Matty Collins, a 10-year-old young white person, to focus on best practice concerning the involvement of young people in decision-making meetings that affect their lives. It examines how Joe, an independent advocate, worked with Matty to help him contribute to the assessment of his situation, which was being undertaken by professionals, and to the plans being made for him. Joe’s work with Matty was focused on two events — a Child Protection Conference and a Family Group Conference. Matty and his family have agreed that we can use their story, but all names and identifying features have been changed for reasons of confidentiality. The account is jointly written by Hilary Horan, a Children Services Manager working for Barnardos1, where she has developed and managed several Family Group Conference and Advocacy Services over the past nine years, and Jane Dalrymple, a senior lecturer in social work at the University of the West of England.
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