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Children who are disabled social care

Our outcomes

We work in partnership with children and young people, parents, carers and families to safeguard and promote their wellbeing. This includes:

  • safety
  • health
  • learning and development towards independence and adulthood

How we work

Families can access support, activities and events for children and young people with SEN or disabilities, without needing early help or social care. This includes short break activities.

Early help is the support that happens before social care is needed. You can find out about early help through our Family Partnership Zones.

Needs assessment

Children who have multiple or complex disabling impairments may need more intensive support. We identify this support through a needs assessment. A family worker from the Children who are Disabled Support Team can go through an assessment with you, according to the Dorset Threshold Tool. We can provide a range of services If the assessment shows your child's needs are eligible.

These services can include specialist short breaks, including those through direct payments

If you need home aids, equipment or adaptations for children or young people who have physical or learning disabilities, an occupational therapist from Dorset County Council (DCC) will complete an assessment.

We provide these services under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 which we also talk about in your education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Family workers, occupational therapists and social workers work together across Dorset to provide the right level of support for families. 

Children's social care teams

Children's social care teams provide a statutory social work service to children in need and their families. Not every family with a disabled child needs a social worker. Social workers normally focus on children with multiple or complex needs who often live in difficult or challenging circumstances where they are at risk of harm, or pose a risk to themselves or others.

Social workers have legal child protection duties and work with looked after children (children in care) and their families, but they also work proactively to help prevent difficulties starting or repeating. 

All the children's social care teams work closely with other professionals and agencies, including early years education providers, schools and health services or other community-based professionals. 

Who to contact for support

Contact the pan-Dorset Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) if you need support or if you have concerns about a child.

Pan-Dorset Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

Name: Single point of contact for safeguarding concerns
Tel: 01202 228866
Full contact details for Pan-Dorset Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)


Contact our safeguarding team if you feel a child is immediately at risk of harm.

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