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What happens if there are concerns about a child?

When a concern about a child is reported to East Sussex Children’s Social Care, they will need to consider the child’s circumstances and decide whether or not the child is safe.

Social workers will begin by doing an assessment. They will look at the child’s needs and whether or not the parent or carer of the child can meet those needs. In some cases, the parent may need only advice and guidance. In other cases, the social workers may decide that the child or parent needs more support, so they will identify services and involve other professionals to make sure things improve.

There may be times when social workers think that the child is suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm. In such a situation, a strategy discussion will take place. The discussion will involve social workers and the police and other professionals may also be invited to share information about the child and family.

If the professionals at the strategy discussion decide that there are serious concerns about the child’s welfare, then social workers and the police will carry out more investigations called child protection enquiries. This will involve talking to the child, their parents or carers and professionals who know the child and the family, for example teachers, school nurse, health visitor, GP and housing.

If the child protection enquiries show that the child is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm, an initial child protection conference will be organised.

Do you need more information or advice?

Family Rights Group can advise you if you are a parent, friend or relative and social workers are involved in your child’s life.
Freephone: 0808 801 0366 (Mon-Fri 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.)

NYAS gives information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to children and young people.
Freephone: 0808 808 1001