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About Us

Our vision

At Dorset Parent Carer Council

Our vision is of a well-informed, connected and empowered community of families of children with disabilities or additional needs, offering support to each other and working in partnership with service providers, to create quality services that meet the needs of all parent carers and their children.


Our Aims

What we strive to accomplish at DPCC
  • To be transparent, clear, approachable, accessible, and accountable to our members providing information to inform and empower Parent/Carers on the issues affecting their families.

  • To be the strategic body for Parent/Carer involvement across Education Health, and Care in Dorset, providing 2-way feedback between all.

  • To provide a united voice by creating a forum, gathering views and information from Parent/Carers in order to highlight common issues.

  • To provide opportunities for Parent/Carers to participate, contribute and influence decisions in developing services that meets the needs of their families.

  • To encourage and support Parent/Carers to be actively involved in DPCC, by training Parent/Carers to represent others.

  • To recognise and value the diverse needs of individual families.

What is a Parent Carer Forum?

And how it benefits families
  • A parent carer forum is a group of parents and carers of children or young people who have special educational need or a disability.

  • Their aim is to make sure the services in their area meet the needs of disabled children and their families.

  • In England there are Parent Carer Forums in almost all Local Authority areas.

  • Parent Carer Forums work with service providers – Education, Health, Social Care and the voluntary & community sector.

  • They are run by parents, for parents Parent Carer Forums are recognised in SEND Code of Practice (CoP ref 1.13).


How are we organised?

The structure of DPCC
  • DPCC is a registered charity with a board of trustees. We have a network of parent carers, with a small steering group of parent carers who oversee the running of DPCC.​

  • We have one full time employee: Participation Co-ordinator.

What do we do?

And how we achieve our goals
  • We provide special educational needs and disability (SEND) related information to our parent carer network.

  • We organise events.

  • We recruit, train and support parent carer representatives.

  • We survey parents about their experiences and views on services.

  • We work alongside statutory and voluntary sector providing the parental carer perspective.

  • We listen to Dorset parent carers about their experiences of services and support through one-to-one conversations, conferences, consultations events, social media etc.

  • We maintain links with SEND support and voluntary organisations in Dorset and further afield.
    (You can find links to key organisations here).


Volunteer with us

We need you

As a parent led voluntary organisation we rely on the support of an amazing team of volunteers.

If you feel that you are able to offer some time and have skills in parent networking and gathering feedback, publicity, marketing, peer support, running activities, office skills or indeed anything that you feel you could offer to Dorset Parent Carer Council then please do not hesitate to get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

We also require help and support in the following areas:

  • Activities, Events, & Coffee Mornings

  • Be a facilitator for our ‘online’ drop – ins for parents and carers.​

  • As little or as much as you can offer is welcome and valued.​

  • If you have any questions about what the DPCC does or would like to get more involved please contact us.

How your views are heard

The Dorset Parent Carer Council provides representatives that share your views in a number of ways:

These can be a one off or a series of meetings that look at a very specific topic or concern and will generally have a range of relevant people there and specific things to look at.

Working Groups

This is a group containing all the key people involved in that service, of which a parent is one, that meets to look at specific services or element or documentation of that service and usually meets for a set number of times or has a specific task or job to do within a set time scale.

Steering Group/Boards

This is a group containing key people involved in that service, of which a parent is also one, that looks at a specific service or part of and collectively shapes the way that service continues and is shaped or developed in the future. They usually have meetings at regular intervals of 4 to 6 weeks and can continue for the duration of the project or service. 

Participation Events

Participation means involving children and young people and their parents and carers in the decisions that affect them and their lives.


Co-production is all about the idea that the people who use a service are best placed to help design it.

The term 'co-production' refers to a way of working where the people who use services (in this case children and young people with SEND in Dorset), their parents, carers and service providers all work together to create a service that works for them all. We have developed a Partnership Agreement with Dorset Council and NHS Dorset.


We are often asked if we can provide a parent representative to sit on an interview panel where the post directly or indirectly would be working with disabled children and their families. These happen as and when jobs are advertised and are for ALL services - Local Authority, Health & Voluntary.

Conferences & Training

Delivered to practitioners from all sectors.

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