Advice and Advocacy Conflict of Interest Policy
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Family Rights Group’s Advice and Advocacy service aims to always act in the best interests of the organisation and its users. Including when doing so may conflict with:
- A personal interest
- A financial interest, or
- The interest of another organisation an adviser or manager may represent, are involved with, or were previously employed by.
What is a conflict of interest?
A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person’s professional and/or personal interests are working against each other. This can make it difficult for them to do their job fairly.
Even where there is no unfair treatment, a conflict of interest can make something look unfair. It can make someone doubt that a person can do their job properly.
Decision-making when there is a conflict of interest
Decisions about how to manage a conflict of interest within Family Rights Group’s Advice and Advocacy Service will be made by:
- The Advice and Advocacy Service Director, or
- Family Rights Group’s Chief Executive.
If necessary, the chair of the board of trustees will be consulted, and when needed, the board itself.
Conflict of interest with an advice and advocacy service user
When there is a conflict of interest between a Family Rights Group adviser and someone using the service (for example where the user is known to the adviser), the client will be referred to another adviser within the service. This will be recorded in our confidential case management system. And the case will not be discussed with the adviser with whom there is a conflict.
If the person using the service is not satisfied with this, Family Rights Group will signpost them to another suitable agencies who is able to either:
- Able to provide them with advice they need, or
- Is well placed to help them access a service that can.
Conflict of Interest between service users – advocacy
Where Family Rights Group is providing advocacy support as part of any funded advocacy project work, the following apply:
- Where Family Rights Group is already providing a direct advocacy service to someone, we will not provide advocacy to another member of their family in relation to the same issue
- Instead, any family member seeking advocacy support will be signposted to other relevant agencies who may be able to assist them.
- Family Rights Group will provide advocacy support for couples only where:
- They have been referred to a Family Rights Group advocacy project as a couple
- Both individuals want to receive a service as a couple
- And there is no conflict of interest between them.
- If at any point it becomes apparent that a conflict of interest does exist, or should a conflict of interest subsequently arise, Family Rights Group will only offer a service to one of the couple.
- Both individuals will be informed of that decision and Family Rights Group will try to find alternative support for the person who will not be offered a service /a continuing service.
- Family Rights Group will consider the following in deciding who to offer any continuing service to:
- Who has the greater care responsibility for the child
- Who has Parental Responsibility
- The nature of any incident that gave rise to the conflict
- Who first approached Family Rights Group requesting a service as an individual.