A VULNERABLE 15-year-old girl who has complex needs and is in council care had to live in caravan parks with her carers because no specialist accommodation was available, a family court judge has been told.

The girl, who is in the care of Dorset Council, stayed in three different caravan parks during September, Judge Martin Dancey heard.

Judge Dancey has raised a number of concerns about the girl's case, in a written ruling published online, following a recent private family court hearing in Bournemouth, Dorset.

The judge said the girl could not be identified in media reports of the case.

He said she had been in 10 "placements" over the course of year.

She was getting no formal education and had no sense of stability or permanence, he said.

Judge Dancey said he had told her "story" in a bid to highlight the "resource issues" councils caring for vulnerable youngsters were facing.

The judge said social workers were making tireless efforts, and working "some silly hours", trying to find places in specialist units.

There were growing concerns about youngsters being exploited sexually and by criminals, he said.

He said the problems were "huge".

"It is my experience in Dorset that the number of vulnerable young people who need to be looked after, or otherwise supported by the local authority, is increasing," he said.

"The need for regulated placements is likely to increase.

"Social workers work tirelessly (and some silly hours) trying to find placements.

"When they turn up they are seized upon."

He added: "The problems are huge."

Judge Dancey said social workers had been involved with the girl's family for more than two years.

The girl's parents used drugs and had a "violent and abusive" relationship, he said.

Her behaviour had gone "downhill", she was often going missing and had been excluded from school.

Social workers had intervened because they feared she was at risk of sexual exploitation, and beyond the control of her parents.