Independent Advocacy Service

Independent advocates help to ensure your rights are upheld and that your views, wishes and needs are heard, respected and acted upon.

The role of a Help & Care independent advocate depends on your situation and the support you want. Independent advocates are there to support you.  Advocates help to ensure your rights are upheld and that your views, wishes and needs are heard, respected and acted upon. 

An independent advocate works on your instructions. They are independent of the local council, the NHS, social services or any other official organisation. They are trained to have your best interests in mind and will therefore remain independent of any person from official organisations.

Our team of independent advocates will work closely with you to find out what is important to you and what you want to change about your life. They can help you to find out all the available options to help you to make an informed choice, say what you want and achieve your goals, secure your rights and represent your interests and get the services you need.

This service is free, independent and confidential.  Help and Care provide different types of Advocacy which can be found below


Care Act Advocacy

The Care Act says that the person must have ‘substantial difficulty’ taking part in assessments and reviews of their care needs.  The law doesn’t define what ‘substantial difficulty’ means, this is left to the social worker. The person may have difficulty in one or more of the following areas:

Understanding relevant information
Retaining information
Using or weighing up information
Communicating their views, wishes or feelings.

Our independent advocates can help people with:

  • Needs assessments
  • Carer’s assessments
  • Care and support planning
  • Care reviews
  • Keeping safe from harm (safeguarding).

An independent advocates will support people to:

  • Understand the process
  • Communicate their views
  • Understand their rights
  • Challenge a local authority decision with which they disagree.

How do I make a referral for Care Act advocacy?

Referrals for Care Act advocacy must come from the Social Worker. To make a Care Act referral, please follow this link, which will take you to directly to Dorset Advocacy’s website who receive all Care Act Advocacy referrals on behalf of Help & Care.

Issue based Advocacy

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

We help a wide range of people, including:

  • An older person
  • An adult with learning disabilities and/or autism
  • An adult with physical disability or long-term conditions
  • An adult experiencing substance misuse problems
  • An adult with mental health needs

Our Independent Advocates can:

  • Support you to communicate your needs
  • Support you to secure your rights
  • Represent your interests
  • Support you to obtain the services you need

Carers Advocacy

We support all Carers in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council areas.  If you have a difficult problem that we can’t help with such as with housing, benefits, or legal advice, we’ll signpost you to a specialist service with the right knowledge.

Our Independent advocates can help you in the following ways:

  • Getting support for yourself or the person you care for from social services.
  • Meetings with social services to assess your or their needs.
  • Helping you to speak up about problems you are having.


I wouldn’t have got through my carer’s assessment without your help, thank you so much


Thank you for all your support in helping me to speak up about the struggles I had caring for my husband. We very much appreciated your understanding of a difficult situation which is much improved


I can’t tell you how much your support meant to me, I now have the respite services I need to carry on caring for my son


 If you are not sure if you are eligible for this service, or would like to further discuss your needs, please get in touch.

Call us on 0300 111 3303 or email 

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