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Services in Dorset to help support children and young people with special education needs and disabilities

Services who can work with families, schools and settings to support children and young people with special educational needs (SEN).

There are several services within Dorset who support children and young people with SEN, their families, setting or school.

Some of these services can be accessed by the parent or carer whilst others require referral from the school/setting or a professional.

Health Services

Health services may work with families, schools and settings to support children and young people with SEN. Select the service to find out more information or to contact the service:

Local council services

See the table for services run by the council. Select the service to find out more information or to contact the service.

Local council servicesWhat support does the service provide?Who can access the service?
Children who are disabled Early Help and Social Care TeamsNeeds assessment, care planning and support for disabled children and their parents/carers to live in their homes and communities.Children, young people and parents and/or carers. Professionals via Interagency Referral Form.
Portage Pre-School Support Service (PPS)The service supports children through the transition from early years to school.Usually accessed by professionals however parents/carers with concerns can also contact the service.

 

Physical and Medical Needs Service (PMNS)

The service helps schools to support children and young people with physical and medical needs so that they can take part in all elements of school life.Parents, schools and other professionals.
Family Information Outreach team and Brokerage service

The team help individual families who need extra support finding information. They also work in partnership with children's centres so parents can access information on their sites.

By anyone.
The Xchange - news and information for disabled children and their families (opens in a new window)The Xchange provides a dedicated website, a monthly enewsletter, an online care passport and the free Dorset Max Card amongst other benefits for families with children and young people who are disabled.Dorset parents and carers of children and young people who are disabled.

Family Information Service

See the Family Information Service Facebook page (opens in a new window).

The service provides support, advice and guidance to all families.

By anyone.

The Vision Support Service (VSS) and Hearing Support Service (HSS)The Hearing Support Service (HSS) and Vision Support Service (VSS) help children and young people in their childcare/school setting or home. The support includes involvement with family and professionals.

HSS - Referrals to HSS are made by Audiology following diagnosis of a permanent or temporary hearing loss.  If families, schools or settings have a concern about a child's hearing they should seek medical advice from their GP, school nurse or health visitor. A referral to HSS will then follow if appropriate.

VSS - Professionals can refer children, however the service will then contact the parents directly for written consent. Referrals can also come from the school or setting where the child is attending.

Special Educational Needs Specialist Service (SENSS)

Helps mainstream schools to support children and young people in school with specific learning difficulties and those with social communication needs.By referral from the school.

Behaviour Support Service

They support schools, their pupils, parents and Governors in the promotion of:

  • positive behavioural, emotional and social development
  • the effective management of problem behaviour
Usually accessed by schools but parents/carers and professionals can also make initial contact.

Educational Psychologists

They build upon the work that has already been done within the school and with other inclusion services as part of the graduated process for SEN. They support staff to develop activities for groups of children within a school.

Schools/organisations may contact the service.  

Parents cannot access the service directly. They should speak to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at the child's school about their concerns.

The Outreach Service (opens in a new window)

The Outreach Service is delivered by Dorset's special schools' partnership (TADSS). This is on behalf of the local council. They provide specialist advisory support to staff in mainstream schools regarding individual students with complex learning needs.  

Schools can access the service through a referral process.

Independent Services

See the table for independent services in Dorset. Select the service to find out more information or to contact the service.

Independent servicesWhat support does the service provide?Who can access the service?

Home Start (opens in a new window)

They provide help in the home to young families dealing with difficulties such as bereavement, illness or depression. Families must have at least one child under five.

Parents/families.

Rose Road Association (opens in a new window)

They provide a range of services and opportunities for children and young people with disabilities, their parents and carers.The local council, registered charities or parents of a disabled child.

SEND Information, Advice And Support Service (SENDIASS)

The service can help children, young people and families by offering advice, information and support.By anyone.
Contact a family (opens in a new window)

They are a national charity that supports families of disabled children. Support includes:

  • free information workshops
  • local information
  • information guides
  • advice
  • providing opportunities to meet other families

They can also provide resources for professionals.

Parents, carers, other family members and professionals.            
Dorset Parent Carer Council (DPCC) (opens in a new window)

The DPCC represents the views of families whose children are disabled in Dorset. They do this by:

  • holding meetings, working and steering groups
  • talking at conferences   
  • holding consultations with individuals/groups
Anyone can become a member by joining online.
Ansbury (opens in a new window)

Ansbury provide independent careers guidance to young people and adults across Dorset. Your Careers Adviser is available to:

  • go to your Year 9 annual review
  • contribute to your transition plan
  • support you with applications for funding
  • help you to move smoothly into adult services
  • write your Learning Difficulty Assessment to inform further education and training providers of your needs
Children and young people with a statement of Special Educational Needs in Dorset

Additional services

Search the Family Information Directory for services to support your child in Dorset.

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