UNREGULATED homes for Dorset children have been visited by the director of Dorset children’s services Sarah Parker and cabinet brief holder Cllr Andrew Parry.

Their trip, to a home in the Wimborne area and another in Bridgwater, came after concern that the number of unregulated placements used by Dorset Council for children in care had gone up from three to six.

Cllr Parry told this week’s corporate parenting board that both places were generally viewed as being good but added “we would be happier if they became regulated.”

He said the Bridgwater home, in a town centre location, “seemed perfectly acceptable and had the feel of a family home.”

The board had previously heard that some of the unregulated homes dealt with challenging adolescents with complex needs where it was often difficult to find suitable accommodation within Dorset.

Acting Assistant Director for Care and Protection Mary Taylor said at the previous meeting 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.

Said director of children’s services, Sarah Parker in a report: “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.”