What happens if someone is worried about my child?
We usually tell you what has been said and talk to you and your child to find out if it is true. If we think someone has broken the law we cannot always talk to you first.
Will you tell me who called about my child?
Yes, if it was a teacher, doctor or other professional person. If it was a friend, relative or neighbour we may not always tell you their name.
What happens next?
We try to get to know your family and may want to talk to your children on their own. We talk to you about how we can help make your children safe and healthy. This is called a Child and Family Assessment. We try to find a way to help that everyone agrees with. We may arrange a Child Protection Conference to talk about how to do this.
You can ask questions about what might happen and why. If you find it hard to talk about your family you can ask for help. Your social worker can tell you how to find someone who can help you say what you think.
Can you take my child away?
We cannot take your child away unless we have a Court Order and it is the only way to keep them safe. If we think your child is in immediate danger we try to agree with you how to keep them safe.
The police cannot take your child away unless they are sure they are in immediate danger.
If your child needs to be taken away from home immediately because they are in danger we can ask a magistrate for an Emergency Protection Order. This lasts eight days and gives everyone time to sort out how to keep your child safe.
We try to help your child live at home as long as this is safe. Most children stay with their family even after a child protection conference. If you are worried you should talk to your Social Worker.