Important Notice Re: Data Protection and Safeguarding
Following recent requests to local Dorset Maintained schools, we are providing the following guidance to ensure a standard response is used.
If a member of the public contacts you regarding whether or not particular children attend your school and they request this information under GDPR regulations, please respond with the following if you have any concerns about the validity of the request or the identity of the requestor:
Unfortunately we are unable to confirm or deny whether the children in question attend our school.
This is basic guidance in response to possible safeguarding concerns. These requests should be considered by your Data Protection Officer on a case by case basis.
NEW: Children's Advice and Duty Service
We have made some improvements here at Dorset Council that we hope will improve the lives of children and families and provide better support to you as the professionals working with them.
We want to make sure that every child receives the right help - regardless of whether social care involvement is needed or not. We know you'll all agree that it is important to help families before they reach crisis point, as that's ultimately better for our children and young people.
Sometimes families need the support of social workers and when this is the case, we need to ensure that this is provided without delay. However, we also know that very often early support from other agencies can prevent concerns escalating.
Children and families have told us that, wherever it is safe, they would prefer this support to be provided by professionals they know and trust. We want to work more closely with you and your staff to agree together what support children and families need and who is best placed to meet the need.
On 2 October we launched our new Children's Advice and Duty Service. If you are concerned about a child and need support or advice from Children’s Services, you will be able to call a professionals-only number to discuss your concerns rather than complete a referral form. You will immediately speak with one of our consultant social workers who will go through these concerns with you. We'll continue to make the same safeguarding checks with partners in health and police as we do now within the current Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), but you will not need to complete a referral form. The intention will be to agree together what should happen next - whether this is allocating a social worker, family worker or supporting you in meeting the need through an early help assessment and team around the family approach. Our ethos is 'never doing nothing' so that families are supported as soon as they need help.
This has been designed with renowned safeguarding expert, Professor David Thorpe. He has worked with over 20 children’s services teams to create a single point of contact that provides better support for families and partner professionals to improve the lives of children and families by ensuring the right support is provided, at the right time. Our colleagues in Norfolk implemented Professor Thorpe’s model nearly a year ago and they have already seen an improvement in services offered to children and their families. We have visited their team and have seen for ourselves the benefits and how valued the support to partners is.
We’re really excited about launching the new service and are confident that it will help us work together to ensure that children and families in Dorset are supported at the right time, first time.
Answers to some frequently asked questions are attached to this article. If you have any other queries, please contact Service Manager, Maggie Aldwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01305 225829. Or Susan Blizzard at email@example.com.
Executive Director People – Children
FREE COURSE - Understanding, Recognising and Supporting Parents in Conflict
There is strong evidence that conflict between parents – whether together or separated – can have a significant negative impact on children's mental health and long-term life-chances. Not all conflict is damaging, but where this is frequent, intense and poorly resolved it can harm children's outcomes.
To recognise the signs of parental conflict at the early stages. It highlights how to support parents in finding constructive outcomes which are shown to provide positive lessons for children to learn such skills as negotiation and compromise
To discuss parental conflict with parents. It focuses on practising the skills of handling conversations with parents in conflict using tools and techniques to enable parents to resolve destructive conflict with positive outcomes
To view dates and book a place please click here
Free - Careers Link Governor training
Governing bodies have a key role in equipping their pupils with the tools and knowledge to make informed choices about their futures. They can do this by offering strategic support to school leaders and holding them to account for meeting their statutory responsibilities.
Dorset Council recommends every school with secondary age pupils has a Careers link Governor.
Free training, sponsored by Southern University Network and supported by the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC), is available for this important role in the governing body.
One funded place is available for each Dorset school.
Training is available on 20 and 21 November 2019.
Please book here on Nexus:
20 November 2019
21 November 2019
Flyers for the courses are attached to this article.
More CEC Guidance for Governors is available on the CEC website.
Strengthening Families Programme - Dorset Youth Association
Find out more about how you and your child can understand each other better and build a stronger relationship for the whole family.
Schools - please let you parents know ...
The Dorset Youth Association (DYA), with funding from with the Royal British Legion, are running several FREE parenting support sessions in September and October in Bovington.
The sessions give parents and their children a safe, supported space to build their relationship by learning skills and coping techniques for difficult situations. They provide help to recognise good choices and healthy ways of managing those more difficult and challenging times together.
The sessions are FREE and lunch/refreshments will be provided. They will be held at at the Royal British Legion Club, King George V Road, Bovington BH20 6JQ
This programme is open to all families with 6-10 year olds. Parents or young people can refer themselves onto the programme by contacting DYA or by speaking to the school practitioners they are already working with.
To join in with your child and make sure you don’t miss out on your FREE place, just ring or email for a booking form and take that first step to making yours a STRONGER FAMILY.
It may be possible to assist with childcare or transport costs. Specific requirements will be looked at on a case by case basis.
More information is on the Dorset Youth Association website including:
Family Application Information
Programme Training Dates
Family referral form
Family referral information form
If you have any questions please contact Lynne Rockey on 01305 262440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org