Have you had a visit or letter from Children’s Services? If so, the first thing to remember is do not panic.
Local authorities such as Bury, Rochdale, Bolton and Manchester have a duty to all children within their relative catchment areas. If a referral is made, or they have reason to believe that a child is not being looked after properly, then they have a duty to investigate.
This can be the result of any type of referral, whether by a family member, friend, neighbour, school, medical professional, heath visitor etc – even if the referral may be malicious in nature. This does not necessarily mean that Children’s Services will want to take your child(ren) away from you. They are just investigating what has been alleged.
They could come and do a welfare check and make sure everything is alright. They could even provide you with some support to help you with looking after your child. If you need support or would benefit from having it then this could be a positive intervention for you.
However, if they feel that a child is at risk or potential risk of harm they may become involved with your family on a short-term or long-term basis. This could be by child action plans, child protection plans or even court proceedings. The child’s welfare will always be the paramount consideration. Like you, Children’s Services will want what is in the child’s best interests and for them to be safe and happy.
If you have had a telephone call, letter or visit from Children’s Services or a social worker then contact Emma Cordock on 0161 359 3880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find Emma on Twitter @emmacordock.
Do not panic, get some legal advice and talk it through with someone. You may find it eases your mind. If you are an extended family member, such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent, who wants to support your family or a child within your family where Children’s Services are involved we may also be able to help you.
For more information about AFG LAW please click here.