DORSET children being looked after in unregulated homes has doubled – from three to six.

But the county’s corporate parenting board heard this week that three of these will soon go to regulated placements, or in the case of one, go home.

Many of the cases are challenging adolescents with complex needs which often have to be found accommodation outside of the county with a specialist provider.

Acting Assistant Director for Care and Protection Mary Taylor told the board at its meeting in Dorchester on Monday that because of their behaviour some of the young people were difficult to place with registered homes. She said these cases were regularly reviewed while the search continued for a registered placement.

She said the Dorset Council was looking at ways to meet the needs of this group and had found a suitable building already owned by the council which was awaiting final checks before being used. Supported foster carers had also been trained and were now ready to be called upon.

Said director of children’s services, Sarah Parker in a report to the board: “Children’s services and partners remain committed to ensuring young people for whom a care placement is needed can feel safe, well cared for, listened to and remain close to their family and friends. Our priority is to achieve this within a well matched regulated placement.”

The board heard that one of the young people who has lived in unregulated places has made a film about the experience which councillors would be shown in the autumn.

Board chair Cllr Toni Coombs (Verwood) said she was disappointed that the figures had moved in the wrong direction: ” I hope the next time we get an update there is a moved back in the right direction,” she said.

Director of children’s services, Sarah Parker, said she believed the council could improve the way it went about finding regulated places and said the department would be working on the language it used when approaching providers – while at the same time being open, honest and balanced.