BCP Portage Home Visiting - photo

BCP Portage Home Visiting
Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (BCP Council) Portage Service

Free In-person


BCP Council - Town Hall
Bourne Avenue
Bournemouth, BH2 6DY
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Project availability

The activity runs from 14 September 2022 to 14 September 2023. The Dorset Youth does not manage bookings for this activity and is not responsible for the delivery of the project. If you have any questions, please contact the organisation directly.

School Term
School Holidays
Bank Holidays


This service is for children who are either not yet attending an early years setting, or are not able to access their full early years education funding. This service offers short blocks of home visits with a named Portage Officer. The frequency of these visits will vary depending on the individual needs of each child, other services and support being accessed and capacity within the Portage service. Lasting for around an hour, parents will be taught how to break learning outcomes down into small achievable steps. For Portage support to be successful, parents need to be willing and able to practise agreed learning activities/strategies with their child in between home visits.

How does it work?

Portage is a partnership between parents and professionals where parents take the lead role. The service responds flexibly to the individual needs of each child and family, in order to equip parents with the skills and confidence to help their child play, learn and gain new skills.

Portage Officers usually deliver Portage to parents and their child at home, although advice and support may be offered via a Portage group activitiy or via virtual video sessions. They begin by looking at what activities the child enjoys and the skills they already have and build on this.

This involves:

  • designing activities for parents and their child to do together
  • breaking activities down into small, achievable steps
  • reviewing progress, agreeing outcomes and celebrating success

Each small step helps the child to learn and succeed and make progress in their learning and development.


To receive Portage support your child must:

  • live in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole
  • be 1 to 3 years old
  • be significantly delayed in at least three areas of development by half of their chronological age OR have a recognised syndrome that is likely to have a significant impact on learning and development. The ASQ (Ages and Stages Questionnaire) summary sheets will show a minimum of three areas of development in the black shaded area. For more information please talk to a member of the health visiting service.


You must be willing and have the capacity to make time for regular home visits or video sessions and daily practice of Portage activities. If there is a waiting list for Portage home visiting, priority will be given to children with the most complex needs who are not yet accessing an early years setting or other form of specialist SEND support.

How to apply for Portage advice and support

You can refer your child directly or ask any professional you are working with to make a referral on your behalf.

Helen Jones, Portage Team Manager, will be happy to discuss the referral with you. Telephone: 01202 261931 or 07824 521406 or email: helen.jones@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Professionals must submit a Portage request for involvement form (parental permission is required) via a secure email address: portage@bcpcouncil.gov.uk The request must include additional supporting information, including ASQ profiles and summary score sheets and any relevant reports that show the child's strengths and needs.

Portage virtual support - this may be offered instead of a Portage home visit

We offer a telephone or video appointment with a named Portage Officer. The aim is to offer Portage advice and learning strategies, provide a listening ear, answer questions and signpost parents to relevant information or services. We will agree with you a fun play and learning activity to help develop your child’s learning at home.

SEND specialist

We are a specialist organisation delivering programmes tailored to children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities and we have capacity to offer extensive 1:1 support. Contact us to discuss how we can support your child.


Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (BCP Council) Portage Service

01202 261 931 email hidden; JavaScript is required
Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth, BH2 6DY


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