Around 1000 children and young people will benefit from a new service being rolled out by the council.

The new Birth to Settled Adulthood Service (B2SA) set up by Dorset Council is now live and is designed to improve the way children and young people with complex needs, or who are disabled as they grow into adults are supported.

The service will provide a flexible approach to working ensuring the right worker supports the right child/young person in the right place, at the right time.

There will be embedded specialists within the service and improved support for parents and carers to build resilience, knowledge, and confidence in caring for the child or young person.

The new service will help between 900 and 1,000 children and young people (0-25 years) with specialist educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who have an education care plan, children aged 14 or over requiring support for mental health, children with high-cost education, young people who are at risk of abuse or exploitation, children and young people who have continuing care funding and young carers.

Theresa Leavy, executive director for children’s services at Dorset Council said: “Every child and young person deserves the same opportunity to meet their potential.

"Some need extra support to help them achieve this. I am delighted that after some fantastic partnership work that we have got to the stage of launching a service that will improve the way we support children and young people with complex needs or who are disabled as they grow into adults."

“We have listened carefully to the feedback provided over the last 18 months and the service has been designed to address what children and young people and their parents and carers have told us.”

Following the feedback provided, the B2SA strategy, launched a Supported Employment Service for people aged over 16 and have provided supported accommodation for young people with autism at Elizabeth Court, in Dorchester.

The council has also held eight transitions roadshows to improve access to information, advice and guidance to parent carers; produced a Preparation for Adulthood Guide in partnership with the Dorset Parent Carer Council (DPCC), the Department for Education recognised forum for Dorset; co-designed an Outcomes Framework with parents and carers and young people; drafted a transitional Safeguarding Plan and made changes across Children’s and Adults Directorates following extensive consultation with young people, parent carers and practitioners.

The Dorset Parent Carer Council added: “We have been working with parent/carers from the outset and are delighted to see the feedback they have provided threading through the design and implementation.

"Having worked in partnership to implement phase one, we look forward to continuing this in supporting the delivery and being part of the process to co-produce and implement phase two. "

The next phase will align the new service with NHS Dorset and the Integrated Care System (ICS).

The council says this will ensure that all health and care services that support children and young people will work together.