The British Red Cross, Hope for Justice and Snowdrop, alongside consultants with lived experience, are developing a framework for the accreditation of Independent Modern Slavery Advocates (IMSAs) in the UK. This collaboration will build on the model of independent advocacy for adult survivors of modern slavery that has been developed by Hope for Justice and independently evaluated by a researcher at the University of Liverpool in 2020.
IMSAs seek to empower survivors to make informed choices about their options and recovery, working with the survivor and their existing support mechanisms to open doors and create opportunities. By providing advocacy that looks at someone’s social needs and legal rights together, IMSAs provide support that is holistic and tailored to the individual, empowering them to overcome barriers and navigate complex systems.
We welcome contributions into this project from organisations and individuals with experience in this field. We are keen to harness the knowledge, skills and experience of others to enhance the development of the IMSA framework. Our strategy for consultation with the sector is two-fold: a written consultation questionnaire and five follow-up workshops to further discuss the key themes and responses from the consultation.
The written consultation questionnaire explores eight key themes that impact the recovery of survivors and/or the development of the IMSA model. These themes are:
- Health and Social Care;
- Housing and Subsistence;
- Survivor Support and the NRM;
- Reducing Risk and Increasing Resilience;
- Criminal Justice;
- Civil Justice;
- Multi-Agency and Partnership Working; and
- Independent Advocacy and the IMSA Model.
For the first six themes, we are seeking to identify key barriers and challenges faced by adults who have experienced modern slavery, alongside possible solutions. The ambition is to broaden our understanding of these issues and draw from the experiences of the sector to highlight examples of good practice across the UK. This learning process will inform the work of the partnership to develop a model of independent advocacy that is equipped to respond effectively to the complexities and challenges faced by survivors of modern slavery in the UK.
Alongside these six themes, the written consultation also seeks to gather examples of best practice for multi-agency and partnership working, as well as gathering the reflections of the sector on independent advocacy and the IMSA model more generally.
Written consultation responses must be completed and emailed to email@example.com by 9th September 2022.
Further to the written consultation responses, the IMSA Model Partnership will be running five full-day expert consultation workshops, based upon the themes explored in the written consultation, diving deeper into some of the key barriers and challenges identified and discussing the role of independent advocacy in addressing these issues. The written consultation responses will be used to inform the agenda of these workshops.
Expressions of interest for participation in the sector consultation workshops must be completed and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 27th July 2022.
Our goal for this consultation is to learn from experts in the modern slavery sector and other relevant fields about the key barriers faced by adult survivors (and how these vary across the UK) and highlight examples of best practice and multi-agency working to ensure that the IMSA model is fit for purpose and complements the work of other agencies, NGOs and government bodies as we work towards a nationally accredited IMSA role.
We would be delighted if you were able to contribute to this process and we welcome your insights and examples of best practice to ensure that survivors benefit from the best possible advocacy and support.