Making the difference

Having the ability to keep a child safe or a family together is a wonderful thing.

Working in Children’s Services offers diverse careers that cannot be rivalled for impact where the positive impacts of your work will extend a long way beyond your day-to-day role.

Helping to keep a child safe means that you are giving them a better chance of a happy, healthy and thriving future.

Click here to watch a video about what we are doing and have achieved.

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Theresa Leavy, Executive Director for People - Children

At Dorset Council Children Services we passionately believe that strengthening families and communities - 'working with', not 'doing to' is the key to unlocking potential and aspiration.

We want children to be ambitious for their future. We have a great opportunity to innovate and drive forward sector leading work that ensures services are fit for the future.

We have a diverse range of job roles in Children's Services; you can support colleagues who work with Dorset children or support Dorset children directly.

Our values and ways of working

Our mission 

  • children in Dorset thrive, are happy and are the very best that they can be
  • we inspire and enable children, young people and their families to find solutions that enable them to develop sustainable, safe and secure relationships with each other and within their community
  • we listen and act so that the voices of children and families is at the heart of everything we do
  • we work together to collaboratively shape, support and develop communities

Our vision

  • shift our efforts to early help
  • get it right first time
  • work to meet need, rather than manage threshold
  • co-produce services with families

Our values

  • collaborative – we want to work with citizens and communities, not do things for or to them
  • strength based – we work with people, not problems
  • restorative – we want to stop harm and repair relationships

How we work

  • our services will be rooted in place and delivered by multi-professional teams
  • our approach to citizens will be strength based and restorative
  • we will proactively provide early help, rather than reactively make a late intervention
  • we will measure our success on how we have made life better for children and young people
  • we will always learn and strive to improve so we can deliver better outcomes for children and young people
  • we will be digital by default and deliver services only where we are required by law, and where we can do this more effectively and more efficiently than anyone else

Meet some of the team

I have been able to realise and follow my passion in supporting those with Special Educational Needs...

I enjoy the variety of casework that locality working provides, from assessment through to adoption…
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The Academy

The Academy was created in 2020 to support the professional development of our social care teams and create a Centre of Excellence for social work in Dorset Council.

We are keen to recruit newly qualified social workers and experienced social workers into our Social Work Academy.

Find out how we can support you at every stage in your career.

Learn more about the academy.

Why work for Dorset Council

We prioritise support, learning, development, and wellbeing across our workforce. We celebrate and share good practice and will give you the training and development you need to excel.

We are an Ofsted rated Good authority with Outstanding Leadership. We keep children and families at the heart of practice by working within our Practice Framework.

Within Dorset our focus is on working within communities and with multi-agency input, responding to the individual needs of the communities we work with and approaching families in a restorative and strengths-based approach.

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Amanda Davis Corporate Director for Education and Learning

It is an honour to work on behalf of our families in Dorset whilst living here with my own family…

Lisa Reid, Quality, Assurance and Safeguarding

Dorset is a creative, forward thinking and kind authority to work for…

Career Opportunities in Children’s Services

Social Worker

Social workers are at the heart of what we do. We are committed to providing the support, training, and development you need to continue to improve your professional practice as a social worker.

Youth Worker

You will be providing care and support to children and young people initially in a residential setting working or working across our communities and in homes to improve the lives of our children.

Family Worker

This role involves direct work with children, young people and their families, creating, supporting and contributing to multi-agency plans and interventions to improve outcomes and life chances for our children and young people in Dorset.

Residential Care Worker

Social workers are at the heart of what do. We are committed to providing the support, training and development you need to continue to improve your professional practice as a social worker.


Recruiting, assessing and supporting adoptive parents and foster carers, our team matches children to families and provides continual support. As a fostering Social Worker you will be able to support Dorset's foster carers and help them achieve great outcomes for the children they care for.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)                                                                                                

Support the development of Education, Health and Care Plans that are co-produced with the children, their families and the settings they attend. This role involves direct work with children and families.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists provide advice, reassurance, support, assessment and intervention to help children and young people develop their skills in everyday activities.

Educational Psychologists

Educational psychologists work with children, young people, families and schools, using psychology to promote positive outcomes in relation to wellbeing, communication and learning