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Blogs and Opinion Hope for Justice advocacy and advice services in the UK

Hope for Justice advocacy and advice services in the UK

Hope for Justice has provided independent advocacy to survivors for over ten years, taking a survivor-centred and holistic approach and responding to survivors’ voices for the need for a single point of trust, to advocate for them in navigating and understanding the complex systems they transition throughout the process of recovery.

The UK Advocacy team at Hope for Justice and the service provided by the Independent Modern Slavery Advocates (IMSAs) has changed and evolved since it was first established. Our consistent trauma-informed approach, combined with high-level skills and experience within the team, have provided evidence that long-term advocacy improves survivors’ recovery (read more about IMSA Model Development Project here).

The team is comprised of a number of Independent Modern Slavery Advocates (IMSAs), including one Child Trafficking Transition Specialist, who have a diverse range of experience in legal and social work. It is this mix of skills that provides the foundation for working in partnership with survivors and their existing support networks to overcome barriers and achieve specific outcomes.

The role of an IMSA is to empower survivors to make informed choices about their options and recovery, working with the survivor and their existing support mechanisms to create opportunities. By providing advocacy that is holistic and tailored to the individual, IMSAs ensure survivors have access to their legal rights and entitlements; can overcome barriers and navigate complex systems; and, most importantly, that their voices are heard at each step of the process.

The extensive and tailored nature of the service – and the time needed to meaningfully advocate and support a survivor – means that the team’s capacity might be limited. Inability to accept each referral and assign an advocate to every survivor needing the service is always a difficult decision. Our passion to assist more survivors and share the knowledge and experience gained through the IMSA model led to the creation of Advocacy Advice Provision – a different way for survivors and other support organisations to get in touch with the Hope for Justice Advocacy team for tailored, specialist advice and signposting on modern slavery survivor care in the UK. The aim is to share the information, knowledge and experiences gathered through our advocacy, community engagement, training and policy work. It enables us to expand our assistance and maximise our team’s efficiency by exploring alternatives to long-term casework.

The Advocacy Advice Provision has been designed to be flexible and adjustable to the needs of those reaching out. This service is aimed at any professionals or adult survivors themselves and at any stage within or after the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) process or regardless of any official decision. The service offers a range of support: from signposting or connecting to a more appropriate service, through to structured advice and a step-by-step guide with access to further support, through to an intervention around a specific matter. Throughout the process of advising or intervening, the advice coordinator is assessing the level of engagement needed to resolve the matter and achieve the desired outcome.

The unique approach of this service is being embedded within the Advocacy team, which allows transition between the advice service and the wider team – for example, a referral for an allocation of an IMSA when the number or complexity of issues cannot be addressed through the advice service. This structure also provides the expertise and up-to-date knowledge needed when advising others. 

The service can also aid agencies that are unsure of identification routes or the Government’s NRM referral process and its stages. Again, the spectrum of Hope for Justice’s services enables us to provide a wrap-around service, as we work together with our community engagement specialists (based in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, with UK wide telephone support). They provide support to potential victims of trafficking, supporting agencies or other professionals by engaging with the survivor and explaining the process around official identification and support under the NRM, facilitating referrals, if appropriate, as well as alternative pathways of support, so service users can make informed choices. 

We constantly adjust and evolve the provision, and we welcome suggestions on how we can improve our service to best assist survivors, and other organisations, and to improve standards of advocacy and care.

If you have any feedback, would like to find out more about how we can help you, or if you are facing any challenges or have any questions relating to survivor care in the UK, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via, or call us on 0300 008 8000.

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