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What Happens if Someone is Worried About a Child?

The worried person will speak to a social worker at Sandwell Children’s Trust, who take all reports of harm to children very seriously.

If the social worker thinks that some extra help and support from a social worker is needed then these are some of the things that might happen;

All reports will be looked at by a Social Worker in Children’s Services, and an Initial Assessment might take place. This is where a social worker will spend some time with the child and their family and ask some questions about how everyone gets on and what life is like for them all. They will then write this in to a report and a decision will be made with the social worker, the child and their family about what will happen next.

See the SCSP Procedure re Initial Assessments.

If it looks like a child might be in immediate danger of getting hurt a conversation will take place with lots of people like health, police, school or nursery and a social worker. They will talk about what they already know about the child and their family and decide if they need to send a social worker and/or a police officer out straight away to talk to the child and their family.

See the SCSP Procedure re Strategy Discussions.

If the child is at risk of being hurt then a Child Protection Enquiry may be started, this will involve a Social Worker and the Police looking at the information they have, talking about it, and making a decision about how safe the child is and what might need to happen to keep make them safer. The Child and Parents will be spoken to and encouraged to be involved through the discussions and decisions.

See the SCSP Procedure re Child Protection Enquiries.

If the child and family need some additional support and help to make sure that the child is safe a meeting will take place with the social worker, everyone else the family are working with like school, health, and other services to make a plan of support. The child will be invited to this if they are old enough and if they want to go, and so will their parents. The meeting will be led by an independent person to make sure everyone gets a chance to be heard and that the plan is fair.

See the SCSP Procedure re Initial Child Protection Conference.

If we think that a child is in immediate danger they may be cared for by a foster carer for a short time while social workers work with the child and the family to make sure they are safe enough to go home.

You have rights too…

You should be provided with information about what is happening, and given the chance to have your say and ask questions. Your Children, if they are old enough and capable of understanding, should also be informed and involved.

Only in exceptional circumstances should this right be withdrawn e.g. where involving you might increase the risk of harm to your child.

If you feel you haven’t been properly informed or involved, seek advice from a Solicitor, Sandwell Citizens Advice Bureau or you can make a Complaint (see Comments and Complaints);
Sandwell Citizens Advice Bureau
District Office
22 Lombard Street
West Bromwich
West Midlands
B70 8RT
Tel: 0121 552 2022