What happens next?

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Why are people concerned about my safety?
This is a natural question to ask. This page will help you understand what this means and what will happen over the first few weeks. Try and keep in mind:

  • The law states that Social Services (also called Children’s Services) must look into information given to them about the safety of a child or if there are concerns that they are not being looked after properly
  • Your safety is the most important matter even if it may be upsetting for your parents or carers. You have a right to be safe, protected from harm and looked after properly.
  • Professionals such as teachers, doctors and health workers have a responsibility to contact Children’s Services if they have concerns about the safety of a child.
  • If concerns are reported, we never assume it’s the child’s or young person’s fault.

 

Can I be involved?
Yes – it is important that you tell us what you feel and what you would like to happen.

  • You will be told what the concerns for your safety are
  • Your opinions and views will be listened to in a way that is as comfortable as possible for you. You may have an adult friend, an interpreter (if you don’t speak English very well) or an advocate (who is a a professional who will speak for you)
  • You will be told your Rights
  • You will be treated with respect
  • Information about you and your family will be kept confidential and will not be passed on to others, unless it is essential for your safety.

Everyone recognises that bringing up children can be challenging at times. All agencies who work with children and families will want to work with you and your family to offer help and support.

 

What happens in an enquiry?
You will be appointed a Social Worker who will want to talk to a number of people to find out if you are being cared for safely. They will want to talk to:

  • You – Your views about what is happening and what you would like to happen are really important. Talk to the Social Worker about ways you can make sure everyone involved knows what you want to happen
  • Your parents/carers – The Social Worker will tell them the reasons for the concerns about you and your family
  • Other members of the family – You may like to suggest members of your family that the Social Worker should talk to.
  • Your Health Worker, Teacher, Doctor, Connexions Advisor and other professionals who work with you.

 

Will the Police be involved?
A Police Officer may have to be involved and will probably visit with the Social Worker. They will explain if you need to have a special interview and how this is arranged. They will usually not be in uniform and are specially trained in working with Children and Young People.Remember that you should ALWAYS ask to see identification of any worker who comes to see you.

 

What will happen after the enquiries?
In many cases enquiries show that they are no grounds for concern. If this is the case you will be told as soon as possible, generally by the Social Worker who first visited you.The Social Worker may talk to you and your family about what additional support you would like.

 

What happens if the enquiries show that it is something more serious?
A meeting called a Child Protection Conference will be held. If you are invited to the Child protection conference your social worker and the Conference Chairperson will talk to you about what will happen. If you do not attend the meeting your views are still very important and the Chairperson will talk to you about how you can contribute.

 

Helpful Information
An enquiry into your safety maybe upsetting and stressful. To help with this, please try and keep the following in mind:

  • Everyone involved will try to do their best for you and your family
  • It can be helpful to talk to someone you trust who you know is sensible and will not talk to others about your business.
  • If you are unhappy about any part of the enquiry, you should first speak with the Social Worker
  • We never assume the Child or Young Person is at fault
  • If you have a complaint, please Contact Us