Plan launched to make Dorset the best place to grow up

A NEW plan has been launched to make Dorset the best place to grow up.

The new Children, Young People and Families Plan 2020-23 has been drawn-up by the Dorset Strategic Alliance for Children and Young People.

The alliance – which includes schools, the NHS, local councils, the police and voluntary organisations – listened to the views of children and young people before creating the plan.

It was launched at a meeting of Dorset Council this week and will improve opportunities and services for children, young people and their families.

Cllr Peter Wharf, Chairman of the Strategic Alliance, said: “This is a very ambitious plan to make Dorset the best place to grow-up. It sets out clearly what we are going to do to help all children thrive, this includes helping young children get ready for school, promoting immunisation, ensuring good child care is available, making places child-friendly, supporting well-being and mental health, creating more homes in Dorset for our Children in Care, strengthening our schools and improving opportunities and vocational education.

“We listened to children and young people before drawing-up the plan and their feedback was incredibly powerful. They told us clearly that they want us to make Dorset a kinder, more welcoming place, help the environment and provide more things to do.

“Thank you to all children and young people who shared an idea – they were brilliant.”

The plan has six priorities, which are:

  1. Best Start in Life – give Dorset children the best start in life
  2. Young and Thriving – help Dorset children to become happy, successful adults
  3. Good Care Provision – ensure Dorset children are  safe and properly cared for
  4. Best Education for All – give Dorset children a great education and enjoy school
  5. Best Place to Live – make Dorset the best place to live and grow-up (this priority was created in response to feedback from children and young people)
  6. Delivering Locally – serve Dorset children, young people and families as best we can

Kate Harvey, service director for Children, Young People and Families at Dorset Health Care, said: “Working together to deliver this plan will help Dorset be the best place for our children to be born, grow, learn and develop, and have a lifelong impact on people’s health and well being.”

Dave Thompson, 0-25 voluntary and community sector representative, added: “The new plan is a great step forward, and we look forward to working together we our partners in the statutory sector to deliver.”

Sally Sandcraft, director of Primary and Community Care at Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, commented: “We want Dorset’s children and young people to have the best start, and to ensure they have access to great opportunities and local services throughout their lives. This plan will help to make that possible.

“By involving children and young people and including their feedback when making the plan, we know that the issues we’re addressing are those most important to the people affected by them. This is a great opportunity to really make a difference to the lives of children, young people and their families, and to make Dorset and even better place to live and grow up in.”

Chief Inspector Stewart Dipple of Dorset Police said: “Dorset Police strives to provide an outstanding service to the people of Dorset – this is our mission and is echoed in this strategy. Dorset Police will be working hard in collaboration with all partners to deliver this ambitious plan and keep children and families safe, by doing the right thing and making a difference.”

The plan is available online by clicking here, alongside an Easy Read version, and Dorset Council is also sending a children’s version to young people who contributed ideas.

You can also view the feedback received from children and young people via the #ILiveinDorset competition, which asked ‘what would make Dorset the best place to grow-up?’

Woodmead Halls

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