If Social Services are involved with your family, you need to take legal advice as soon as possible.
Social Services have a legal duty to protect the children in their area. When they receive information suggesting a child may be at risk of harm they are duty bound to carry out an investigation. It should be noted that ‘Harm’ can be physical, emotional or sexual, it doesn’t matter whether that harm is intentional or not.
Following their investigation if Social Services think a child is at risk of harm, they will hold a Child Protection Conference. Who can attend? Parents and people involved in the child’s life, such as their health visitors or teacher. The conference will decide if the child is at risk of harm, and if so a Child Protection Plan will be made. The purpose of the plan is to keep the child safe and prevent further harm, promote the child’s welfare and support the child’s family to care for them.
Throughout the duration of the plan regular meetings will take to keep a check on the progress. If it can be proven that the child is no longer at risk of harm that the plan would be discontinued.
It should be noted that if Social Services think the risk of harm to the child is too great and the child shouldn’t be at home, they will consider starting Court proceedings so they can take the child into care.
If this affects you then we would advise that you come in to see us as soon as possible. We can advise you on how to achieve the best possible outcome and relieve the stress associated with Social Services being involved in your family.