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What is The Xchange

The Xchange has been developed with Dorset Parent-Carer Council to benefit Dorset families with children who are disabled.

It's called 'The Xchange' because it is all about exchanging news and information

  • information and news needed by families and by professionals working them
  • information the local authority needs to help create better services

Information and news that is needed by families

The news and information for the Xchange comes from a wide range of sources ranging from the local family information services, to other websites, to providers who work with families, to professionals and the Dorset Parent Carer Council as well as from families themselves.

Information the local authority needs to help create better services

To access all the membership benefits, join the Xchange. When you join, your application form automatically provides the details needed by the Dorset Council to keep a record of children in their area who are disabled. This is a government requirement.

The record means you are helping the local authority

  • to know more about the needs of children who are disabled and their families across Dorset
  • to have clearer information on where services need to be located and resources allocated

Please be assured that you can ask to leave The Xchange as any time and to have your details removed from the records by contacting us at

Your entitlement to services such as health or social care isn't in any way dependant upon being a member of the Xchange.

Can I join?

You can join us if:

  1. you are the parent/carer of a child who is disabled. This means that your child has a 'physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.' (The Equality Act 2010) AND
  2. the main residence of both you and your child is within the Dorset Council area  (excluding Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole) AND
  3. your child is under 19 years of age

(Please note: Due to the Local Government Reform which took place in April 2019 we are sorry but we will not be able to accept any membership applications from Christchurch.)

Benefits of membership

The Xchange isn't just a website. If you are a parent or carer, you get so much more by becoming a member including...

  • A Dorset Max Card for your child
  • Regular Enewsletters
  • An online Care Passport facility
  • Rate and review opportunities
  • Invitations to our surveys
  • a free SMS texting service to let you receive texts with reminders and news

Discover more about all these great benefits here.

Join online now

If you meet the above criteria  the we'd love you to join us. You can sign up and join online now to be able to access and enjoy all the benefits of Xchange membership. We already have over 1200 local members!


If you prefer to complete a paper application form then just please just ask us for one by email or write to:

The Xchange
Children's Services
Dorset Council
Colliton Park

Frequently asked questions

If you have any questions, it's possible they may have been asked and answered already. You can take a look here for some of the Q and A's already available.

What happens to my information

Your details are safe. The Xchange is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. The data from your form is stored securely and separate from any other information held. Only relevant staff in Dorset County Council will have access to any personal information although statistical or general information may be shared where it might help with working together with other authorities or organisations to co-ordinate services or improve provision across Dorset

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