Overview of Social Services
Social services getting involved can be a worry for families as they are usually looking into the welfare of a child. They are responsible for dealing with any risks to the safety of a child through things like neglect, abuse or violence.
What usually happens is that a child is referred to social services and then there will be an investigation with a dedicated social worker who will monitor the situation. This tends to begin with a social services section 47 enquiry.
What is a social services Section 47 enquiry?
A Section 47 enquiry is conducted by social services if there is concern regarding the safety and welfare of any child or children. What happens is that a full investigation is carried out to decide whether a child is at significant harm. This may entail a formal interview, medical examination and reports from school.
Following this, social services will decide whether there is no need for further action or whether a child protection conference will be set up.
What is a Child Protection Conference?
If it is decided that further action is necessary after enquiries into the welfare of the child, a meeting (Child Protection Conference) will be held between carers, professionals (like social workers and teachers) and parents to discuss any concerns. Led by an independent chairperson, all information will be heard and shared with the group. Following the discussion, it will be decided whether the child is at risk and whether a Child Protection Plan is needed.
What is a Child Protection Plan?
If the conference decides that a child has suffered significant harm or is at risk of suffering harm then they will produce a child protection plan. This will decide a course of action where there will be regular review meetings to look at whether the plan is working. It is important to remember that these plans cannot have the child removed but look to ensure the safety of a child.
Top tips for dealing with social services
When social workers become involved with your family then there is likely to be concern. You may not understand why or what the procedures entail but it is imperative that you co-operate with your local authority. Documenting everything is useful, from social worker meeting dates and notes to photographs, and you should always ask for explanations in writing for when you build up your case.
How can DPP Law help?
If you require help dealing with social services then specialist family law services from experts like our friendly team will help you to get a quick result from any issue. Our solicitors have more than 30 years experience and are ready to give you the best legal advice for useful assistance. Get a free consultation by calling us today or enquiring online.