What does it mean? – D

This page is part of our handy list of definitions and explanations of some of the terms that you might have come across but didn’t know what they meant. If you think we’ve missed something, let us know, and we’ll look at added it to the list. 

These are the entries for D. You can see other entries by clicking the letters below.



Designated Teacher

This is someone at school who has the job of making sure that Children in Care who are in the school are doing okay, that they aren’t being bullied and that they are getting on well with work. If you are in care and you’re not sure who the designated teacher is at your school, then you could ask your form tutor or social worker.

Developmental Delay

This is when a child or young person isn’t developing skills at the same rate as most children of that age. A developmental delay could be about one particular skill such as talking or writing, or it could be a Global Developmental Delay which means that all skills are behind the average.

Devon Young People’s Accommodation Service (DYPAS)

DYPAS provide foster care for young people aged 16+. Carers provide a safe, healthy and encouraging home where young people can develop independent living skills so they can work towards ‘going it alone’ as young adults.

DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service

You may have heard the term DBS or DBS check. It stands for Disclosure and Barring Service and it is a check to make sure that all adults who are working with children and vulnerable adults are safe to do so. It makes sure that those people who are disqualified from working with children in the past are not allowed to work with them again.

DfE – The Department for Education

The DfE is the branch of the government in London that deals with education. It publishes all sorts of advice and education laws for local authorities and schools. You can visit their website by clicking here:


Disabilities can be physical or mental impairments that have an impact on a person’s ability to do normal daily activities.

More information on the SEND local offer is available on the Devon County Council website.

Down’s Syndrome

People with Down’s Syndrome often have a learning disability and may require extra care. It occurs in about one in every 1000 people. You can find out more by visiting the Down’s Syndrome Association website.

More information on the SEND local offer is available on the Devon County Council website.

Drugs / Drug addiction

There are many different types of drugs. Some are legal, some are illegal and many of them are very dangerous. A drug may change the way you think or feel and it can sometimes be hard to stop using them once you have started. People who can’t stop taking drugs are said to be ‘addicted’ or ‘addicts’. You can find out more about drugs on the Talk to Frank website. If you need support or advice about your own drug or alcohol use, Y-Smart offer free, non-judgmental support.

Duty Team

This refers to the Emergency Duty Team. Most social workers work between 9am and 5pm, Mon-Fri but there is a small group of social workers who are on call in case things happen outside these times. If there is a problem late at night or at the weekend, you might need to contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0345 600 0388.


This affects a person’s ability to read, write and spell. Dyslexia is considered to be a learning difficulty but is not related to how clever a person is. Dyslexia doesn’t have one symptom, but if you have difficulty with writing, spelling or reading, then you may be dyslexic and you should talk to someone about this.


Dyspraxia is a condition that affects young people and adults and their ability to move and coordinate themselves. A person with dyspraxia may have poor coordination and balance, difficulty remembering and following instructions and can sometimes be marked as ‘clumsy’. If you think that you are Dyspraxic, you should talk to someone – your carer, doctor, key-worker or a teacher at your school about this and see what help might be available.