Issues-based Advocacy

When you need help with a particular problem, advocacy can help you have your views and wishes heard. If you live in Dorset and get help from social services, or care for someone who does, our advocates may be able to help.

Who do we help?

group of peopleWe help people who are getting services from either Dorset Council or BCP Council


Who are one or more of the following:

  • Over the age of 50.
  • Have learning disabilities. We can help anyone with a diagnosis or struggling to access a diagnosis.
  • On the autistic spectrum. We can help anyone with a diagnosis or struggling to access an autism/Asperger’s diagnosis.
  • Have a physical disability or long-term condition which has lasted over 12 months or which is recurring.
  • Are informal carers for someone who has support from Social Services or CHC. They must live in the Dorset Council area. See our Bournemouth and Poole Carers page for people who live in a BCP Council area.
  • Have a substance use problem and are known to the Drug and Alcohol Team.

This includes people who are in prison in Dorset.  It doesn’t include people living in care homes or supported accommodation in Dorset but who are paid for by an out of county local authority.  Out of county authorities can spot purchase our services.

What can we help with?

We can help you with things like:

  • Problems at your day centre.
  • Getting your social worker to listen to you.
  • Problems with your care agency
  • Making a complaint about social services
  • Or with being a parent.

What we can’t help with

There are some issues that we regret we are not able to help with:

  • Benefits
  • Housing and moving house.  If you need to move because your care needs have changed and the social workers are doing assessments of your care, you may qualify for an advocate under the Care Act.  Your social worker would need to make the decision.  See our Care Act page for more information.
  • Legal matters including Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship.
  • We can’t help people under this scheme whose primary issue is mental illness.  Dorset Mental Health Forum has an advocacy service that can help.

How do I make a referral?

  • If you’re the person who wants advocacy you can refer yourself or you can ask someone else to make the referral for you.
  • If you are making the referral for someone else, please make sure the person has given their permission if they are able to make decisions for themselves.

Download our referral form:

Dorset Advocacy referral form