Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that Dorset Advocacy are asked about our services. Simply click on a question below to view the answer.

How much does it cost to receive support?

All Dorset Advocacy’s services are free. You don’t have to pay anything to make a referral or to receive support. Dorset Advocacy is funded to provide certain services, however, we also rely on your generosity, so if you would like to, please look at our Donate page, to see how you could help,

Will you talk to other organisations about me?

No. We never share information with anybody without your permission. If you would like us to talk to other organisations on your behalf, we will ask you to sign a form telling us which organisations you would like us to talk to. We will only talk about the things you want us to talk about. The only exception to this is if we felt you, or somebody else, was at serious risk of harm.

How do I get support?

If you would like more information about what Dorset Advocacy does or think an advocate could help you speak up about something in your life, call our Referral Gateway on 0300 343 7000 or email

Are all your advocates qualified?

All of our advocates have either obtained or are working towards their Independent Advocacy Qualification (IAQ). They are also all vetted by the Disclosure and Barring System (DBS). They receive regular supervision. If you are unsure about what this means, you can speak to someone by ringing Dorset Advocacy on 01305 251033.

What do I do if I’m not happy with the support I receive?

If at any time you feel uncomfortable with the support provided by Dorset Advocacy, you can request a copy of our Complaints Procedure or speak to a Senior Manager by calling 01305 251033.

What is advocacy?

Anybody can advocate for someone, however, our advocates are independent. That means they work in your best interests. They are not influenced by family, friends, Social Workers or other organisations. They work with you to help you speak up about what is important to you, changes you would like to make in your life, help you understand and ensure you have equal access to opportunities.

How long will it take to get an advocate?

When you make a referral, a Referral Gateway Officer will tell you if we can help. If we can, they will pass it to an allocating manager who will usually assign you to an advocate within 7-12 working days. For Continuing Health Care (CHC) Advocacy, this could take up to three weeks.

Will I keep the same advocate forever?

Not necessarily. Our advocates will help you with specific issues and try and resolve these for you as quickly as possible to help you to be independent. This usually means working with you for a few months. If you need help again in the future you just refer yourself again and we can try and pair you with the same advocate again if you’d like.

Do you offer work experience?

We have previously welcomed Social Work students on a placement as part of their course.  If you would like to discuss the possibility of a placement, please call the office on 01305 251033.  Alternatively, to get involved with Dorset Advocacy, see our Volunteering page.

Why should I refer to Dorset Advocacy?

Dorset Advocacy holds the Quality Performance Mark (QPM), Investors in People Accreditation, Investors in Volunteers Accreditation and has 25 years experience supporting vulnerable people secure their rights and equality of access to opportunities. We have a built a positive reputation through our work and relationships with commissioners and are seen as being creative, innovative and knowledgeable.