If a social worker may have made contact with your family for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons might be:

  • A family member has requested family support services from social services at times of stress.
  • A professional who knows the family such as a teacher, family centre worker or GP has asked that a social worker visit you.  
  • A family member or professional is worried that violence and abuse could result in harm to the children.

Once a social worker has contacted you, they will need to speak to you, your children, other family members and any involved professionals  to ensure that you are fully able protect and promote the health and safety of your child. This is called an assessment. 

When carrying out the assessment, social workers and other professionals should follow national guidelines set out in the Government document Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.

If the assessment indicates to social workers that your child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, a meeting will be held between different agencies (including the police and your child’s social worker). This meeting is called a strategy discussion and is for professionals only. Parents and other family members are not invited to this meeting. People at the meeting will share the information they have about your child’s circumstances and will decide what happens next.

If the professionals at the strategy discussion decide that there are serious concerns about your child’s welfare and that this situation needs to be looked at more closely, the social worker and or police will carry out more investigations. These will include talking to you, your child and other people who are involved in your child’s life, for example teachers, health visitors, nursery nurses. These investigations are called child protection enquiries.

If these child protection enquiries show that your child may be suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, an initial child protection conference will be organised.

Why are Social Workers involved?

Traveller and Romani Advice and Information Network