Referral to social services

Posted on Sunday, 30th Aug, 2015 at 05:41:23 PM
Referrals to social services can happen in a number of ways. You can request help yourself by calling your local social services.....

Referrals can be made by other professionals who are working with your family or children, including schools, GPs, health visitors, and more.

If there are concerns that a child is being abused or neglected, professionals, family members or anyone else who is concerned can approach social services, the police or contact the NSPCC directly for advice.

If the social services department of your local authority (LA) consider your child is at risk of harm or in need of help, they have a duty to investigate the situation and to assess what actions should be taken to safeguard your child or promote their welfare. It is important to try and work alongside them and cooperate as best you can.

If they have been in touch to let you know that they are conducting an inquiry it is important not to panic. It is natural to feel anxious and frightened in this situation but you should be informed by social services what the process involves and be given leaflets about what you can do. Unless there are particular circumstances preventing them, they may call or write to you and let you know they are conducting an initial assessment. This assessment should be completed within a certain number of days and they will inform you of how long this will take. In most cases these assessments result in them providing support and other services, with your agreement, in the family home.

Once Social Services or the Police receive a referral regarding suspected child abuse, they undergo an initial assessment of the case to decide the appropriate course of action and the following will be covered:
child/young person's developmental needs
child/young person's gender, race, culture, religion and sexual orientataion
parents/carers capacity to meet the child's needs and other children within the household
environmental and social factors that could impact on the child
help of support services if required.

Parents and carers of the child should be informed of the referral. This should be avoided in cases where the parents/carers would place the child, the referrer or any others at immediate risk. Following this contact, Children's Services will then make a decision about how and when the parents should be approached.

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