Family guide to social services
What does Social Services involvement mean for me and my family?
What do Social Services Do?
Social services are there to ensure that every child is safe and has their needs met.
These needs may include things like:
- A safe environment to live in
- Access to education
- Meeting emotional needs
- Being Healthy
- Staying Safe
- Enjoying and Achieving in their lives
Having social services involved in your life can be a difficult and stressful time and can lead people to become defensive but it is important that you work alongside your social worker in order to ensure that the needs of your child/children come first.
How can they help?
Your social worker can help you to access lots of things that you may not know you are entitled to. Some of the things they can help you with include:
- General information and advice
- Assessment of the child's, or the young person's, needs
- Assessment of carer's needs
- Formulation of a care plan which may include:
- Co-ordination of services that meet the needs of the family
- Liaison with education and the health service.
How long will they be involved?
This depends on the needs of your family. They will carry out a thorough assessment, talking with children, families, doctors, health visitors and teachers. If they have particular concerns about the child, we may hold a Child Protection Conference. This is a meeting with the family, Social Worker and other professionals to try to find a solution to the difficulties at home. They will always try to work with families to support and help them cope.
They may want to offer you some further support informally or they may feel that your family needs some intensive support and in this case they will put your child/children on a child in need or child at risk plan. These are known as care plans and will contain actions for you and your social worker to do.
You have the right to seek legal advice from a family law specialist.
You have the right to request to change your social worker.
You have the right to ask for a full explanation of why social services are involved.
You have the right to attend meetings about your case.
You have the right to be accompanied to those meetings by a support worker.