Skip to content

We use cookies to make the site simpler. Find out more about cookies

Close alert

Independent advocacy

Independent advocacy offers one to one support and representation for disadvantaged children and young people. These include children and young people who:

  • are in the care of Dorset County Council (DCC) from birth to 18 years 
  • are leaving the care of DCC, up to the age of 25
  • are involved in Child Protection processes from birth to 18 years
  • are a child in need between birth and 18
  • want to make a complaint
  • have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and are transitioning from Children's to Adult Services up to the age of 18
  • are undergoing capacity and best interests assessments for young people under the Mental Capacity Act up to the age of 18

Advocates listen to children and young people with specific issues and support them. They can help by:

  • discussing different options
  • sorting problems 
  • raising concerns

They can also help you prepare for and attend meetings, either with or for young people. This helps make sure that the young people have a voice and that their views are heard and taken into account when making decisions. 

Advocates can also offer support if a young person wants to make a complaint. 

When to use an advocate

You can ask to have an advocate if:

  • you're unhappy, angry or upset with your care
  • you feel you haven't been fairly treated
  • you feel you aren't being involved in decisions about you or your care
  • no one's telling you what's happening about your care or your situation
  • you want to discuss something
  • you want to make a complaint
  • you want help to prepare for a meeting 
  • you want someone to go to a meeting with you

Make a referral for independent advocacy

We've commissioned Action for Children to provide independent advocacy services for Dorset. This is a free service for children and young people who meet the criteria. Anyone can refer a child or young person, including the young person themselves.

Contact Action for Children

Dorset Nightstop

Action for Children run Dorset Nightstop which provides emergency accommodation for homeless young people aged between 16 and 25. Young people stay in the homes of carefully recruited, fully checked and trained volunteers who are supported by project staff. 

Accommodation is on a 'one night at a time' basis, for a maximum of 3 nights. Nightstop aims to keep young people in a safe, friendly environment, while allowing agencies to look at long-term solutions to their homelessness. 

Rate this page

Have some feedback?

Your feedback

This form is to report content that is wrong, or any issues or feedback you have about the web page.

Contact us if you want to get in touch about a council service instead.

All fields are required.

Leave your email address so that we can provide a response.

This helps us direct your feedback to the appropriate council.

General data protection regulation (GDPR)

We will only use the personal information supplied by you in accordance with GDPR. By giving us this information you are consenting to such use as set out in our privacy notice.