Children's Services delivery model

We want to share the way we work with you, how we are structured and how we invest in our people.

I am privileged to hold the role of Executive Director for Children's Services in Dorset. Our new approach to how we will work with our children, families and communities is absolutely embedded in wanting to ensure Dorset is a place where all children thrive. 

I passionately believe that strengthening families and communities - 'working with', not 'doing to' is the key to unlocking potential and aspiration.

Introducing 'Dorset Children Thrive', our new model for delivering Children's Services in Dorset, which started on 1 September 2020.

The model brings together many services and support for children and families into 6 integrated locality teams across Dorset, supported by a central team of specialist services.

Our 6 priorities

Our priorities to improve the outcomes for children and young people in Dorset are:

  1. Best Start in Life.
  2. Young and Thriving.
  3. Good Care Provision.
  4. The Best Education for All.
  5. Delivering Locally.
  6. Best Place to Live.

Services in our localities

Services are based in 6 localities:

  • Chesil
  • Dorchester
  • East Dorset
  • North Dorset
  • Purbeck
  • West Dorset

Services based in our localities include:

  • Early Help
  • Children's Social Care
  • Educational Psychology
  • special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

There is an emphasis on supporting people to get the right help from the right part of our system.

Safeguarding concerns are managed by our Dorset Children's Advice and Duty Team (ChAD). Our Early Help Hub and Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) are now based within ChAD. Early Help link workers will continue to provide guidance, for example with schools.

Our investment in people

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.

Supporting our colleagues' development is a top priority and we have created both a Social Care Academy and a Manager's Toolkit to drive excellence by ensuring colleagues have resources at their fingertips.

Theresa Leavy
Theresa Leavy

Theresa Leavy, Executive Director People, Children

Children and young people wheel

Our practice model

A practice model can provide a systemic approach for 'how to' and 'why' when working with families, children and young people. 

Practice models can provide tools, knowledge and understanding for workers, acting as a foundation and framework in which individual workers can add their own individual skills, experience and personalities.

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.

Our Academy

Our Academy is to support our approach and ensure our Children's Team have all they need to help Dorset children thrive.