New Advocacy and Independent Visitor Service launches in Dorset
It is important that we ensure that the views and wishes of children and young people are taken into account when key decisions about their lives are being made.
Advocacy provides independent one to one support for children and young people to make sure that their voices are heard when decisions are being made about them, or if they want to make a complaint.
If they are Looked After/Leaving Care, Children in Need, or involved in SEND transition assessments, mental capacity assessments or child protection processes – they may be entitled to the support of an independent advocate.
"My advocate helped me say the things I wanted to say but was too scared to…."
Independent visitors are trained volunteers who befriend and mentor a child or young person in care who has little or no contact with their birth parents and who would benefit from having an independent adult in their life. Whether it's trying a new activity, going out and about, or just being a listening ear, the independent visitor will be there for the long haul.
Independent visitors are highly valued by the young people as they are often the only person involved in their lives who are not paid to be there.
"She's like the aunty I never had ."
DCC now has a contract with Action for Children to provide both these independent services. The services are free for children and young people who meet the criteria
You can find out more and how to make a referral from their website.
Action for Children, Bournemouth Learning Centre, Bournemouth, BH10 4HG
School Support Services Open Day Event - Friday 2nd March 2018
Traded Services for Schools Open Day
The next Traded Services for Schools Open Day event where we will be showcasing our services will take place at Kingston Maurward House, Dorchester, DT2 8PY. Come and meet the teams from:
Property and Grounds
Business Management services
The event is open to everyone and entry is FREE. Doors will open at 10am and will run until 4pm.
There will also be a series of 15 minute seminars based on hot topics relevant at the time.
To express an interest in attending please book on the event via Dorset Nexus or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support is available if you have young carers in your school
Do you have pupils in your school who you know are – or you believe to be – young carers? The Dorset Young Carers Service can help you identify young carers, and take the first steps in supporting them. This includes assessing young carers to identify their individual needs and decide how to meet them.
Please read through these guidelines before making a referral to the Dorset Young Carers Service. We understand the complicated dynamics of some families, so please feel free to contact us if you are unsure whether a referral is appropriate.
Definition of a young carer
Young carers are children or young people aged under 18yrs who provide significant care to someone in their family who has a disability, a long-term illness, or is affected by mental ill health or substance misuse. Young carers take on caring responsibilities, both practical and emotional, that an adult would normally undertake.
To meet eligibility for the service, children and young people must meet our definition of a young carer. The service is funded to work with young carers aged 5-18, and we are unable accept referrals for young carers outside this age bracket. We advise agencies to contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01202 228866 for children aged under five years, where there is concern that they are significantly affected by caring responsibilities. In all cases, it is important that parental consent is given for the referral.
Children and young people may not be eligible if their caring responsibilities do not have an adverse impact on the following:
• physical/mental health
• emotional and behavioural development
• family and social/peer relationships.
Children and young people may not be eligible if:
• care tasks are age appropriate and do not exceed what an ‘average’ child of their age would undertake (e.g. a teenager helping with some house work, walking to the local shop etc)
• they are helping to support a primary adult carer with care tasks i.e. they are a secondary carer
• they are living with a family member who is ill, disabled or misusing substances but are not providing care for that person, for themselves or for siblings.
• their caring responsibilities are due to parenting issues or neglect (i.e. caring for siblings because parents are working or inattentive)
• parental consent has not been given.
Referrals can be made directly to the young carers service by completing a request for service form.
If appropriate, we will complete an assessment as soon as possible and will inform the family and the referrer whether we are able to offer a service.
If the child or young person meets our criteria, we will offer them a service, which includes access to group activities, one-to-one and family support. Each young carer will have an annual review to take into account changes in circumstances, and to ensure that the young carer is still eligible for support.
To contact a member of the Young Carers team, please call 01305 225677 or email email@example.com
Plastic in its Place! Whole school & community recycling
Recycle and raise funds for school with Empties Please
Thanks to Blue Planet II, recent news about plastic pollution in the oceans has reminded us how important it is to reduce our use of plastics and dispose of all plastics responsibly.
This term we're inviting schools to help solve the plastic problem by joining Empties Please. Empties Please offer a free, fun way to recycle printer and toner cartridges whilst raising funds for your school. Cartridges are a big source of plastic waste in schools and businesses. Because they are hard to recycle, they often end up going to landfill and can escape into the sea.
• create a school account at www.emptiesplease.com/schools. Quote 'DCC' in the 'how did you hear about us' box,
• Empties Please will provide you with everything you need to start collecting
• FREE launch assembly with the Sustainable Schools Officer (optional)
• send your cartridges (freepost) to Empties Please and get paid for every cartridge they can recycle
What are the benefits?
• respond to issues of plastic pollution raised by Blue Planet II
• opportunity for community involvement
• source of income for your school
• chance to win a free class visit to the Weymouth SEA LIFE Park* (transport included)
*We've teamed up with the Weymouth SEA LIFE Park to offer you the chance to learn more about the marine wildlife that we want to protect. All schools that sign up to Empties Please in Spring 2018 will be entered into a prize draw to win a free trip class trip to Weymouth SEA LIFE Park, including transport.
Empties Please in action in Dorset
Damers First school began collecting with Empties Please in September 2017. Empties Please provided collection bins for school and extra bins so that local businesses could collect for the school. In one term they earned a whopping £93.10!
• Find details and register at www.emptiesplease.com/schools
• Contact the Sustainable Schools Officer to arrange your free assembly: firstname.lastname@example.org
DES is unavailable this weekend
DES users will not be able to access any part of DES after 3pm on Friday 2 February, access will be reinstated from Monday 5 February when users should be able to log in when arriving for work on the Monday morning.
Since DES’s major facelift in February 2017, ICT colleagues who develop and maintain the system apply ‘patches’ at regular monthly intervals to ensure that DES continues to perform effectively, whilst maintaining required security levels; this happens over one weekend each month to cause as little disruption as possible as the system needs to be down while the update is applied.
The patch that is being applied in February 2018 requires the system to be down for longer than normal and we are asking DES users to be logged out by 3pm on Friday.
If for any reason there is a delay and the restriction needs to be extended, we will communicate this via Nexus and users will see an error on the screen when trying to log in.