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

Local council services What the service provides Who can access the service

Children's social care

Social care support for children and families; information about children who are disabled, needs assessment, care planning and support for disabled children and their parents or carers to live in their homes and communities Children, young people and parents or carers. Professionals using the Interagency Referral Form.
Portage Pre-school Support services (PPS) Supports children throughout the transition from early years to school. Usually accessed by professionals, but parents or carers with concerns can also contact the service.
Education, employment, training and re-engagement and support team

The team support young people aged 16 to 19 (or up to 25 if they have SEND) to continue education, find employment and access training in work areas that interest them.


Our team supports young people with:

  • education
  • employment
  • training
  • re-engagement

We have to collect information for young people who:

  • are not in education
  • have not yet started work
  • need support to carry on with their education, go to work or access training

These are often known as "NEET young people", meaning they are not in education, employment or training.

Physical and Medical Needs Service (PMNS)

Helps schools 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.
The Xchange: news and information for disabled children and their families Provides a dedicated website, monthly enewsletter, online care passport and free Dorset Max Card, plus other benefits for families with children or young people who have a disability. Parents and carers of children and young people who are disabled in Dorset.

Family Information Service

FIS Facebook page

Provides support, advice and guidance to all families.
The outreach team provide extra support for families with children with SEND who are struggling to find childcare.
Vision Support Service (VSS) and Hearing Support Service (HSS) Help children and young people in their childcare setting, school or setting. Support includes involvement of family and professionals.

HSS: audiology make referrals following diagnosis of permanent or temporary hearing loss. You can seek medical advice from your GP, school nurse or health visitor if you have a concern about a child's hearing. Referral to HSS will follow, if appropriate.

VSS: professionals can refer children, but the service then contacts parents directly for written consent. Referrals can also come from the school or setting where the child attends.

Educational psychologists Build on work already 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 and organisations may contact the service.

Parents can't access the service directly. They should speak to the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) at the child's school about their concerns.