If your child/children has come to the attention of the Social Services and they are telling you that they are worried that your child is at risk of suffering from harm, a child is referred to Social Services. An initial assessment is completed and there are three options which Children’s Services may wish to take:-
1) File closed Social Services go away.
2) Offer of support and help to the family.
3) Core assessment completed.
If Social Services have approached you about your children it is because someone has told them that they think your children are being hurt or are not being cared for properly or if you or your partner have had children removed from your care and you are having another child anyone can call Social Services and tell them about children they think are abused and Social Services have a legal duty to investigate this, Social Services do not want to take your children away, but they have to make sure that they are safe, and cared for properly.
There are four types of harm emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse or neglect.
Emotional Abuse this is where a child is being emotionally abused at home and it is affecting the way they grow up. This could be by them being rejected, or bullying from a parents, or witnessing violence and abuse. These are a few examples but there are many others.
Physical Abuse this is where a child is being physically hurt and this is either by you, or someone you know, and you are not protecting your child from this.
Sexual Abuse this is where someone is sexually abusing a child, or putting the child at risk of being sexually abused, and this is either you, or someone you know and you are not protecting your child from this.
Neglect this is where your child is not having his or her needs met at home, such as clean clothes or bedding, enough food, missing medical appointments, not going to school again these are just a few examples but there many things which can be attributed to neglect.
Social Services will be worried that the children are suffering from one or more of these, or they are worried that the children might suffer from one or more of these if they were to stay in the family home.
Once Social Services have received a referral they have to do an initial assessment, the Social Worker will speak to you on the phone and/or come round to your home and see the children to investigate what they have been told.
If you would like to talk about any aspects of Family Law do not hesitate to contact a member of the Family Law team at our offices in Boston, Lincoln, Sleaford, Spalding, Grantham and Newark.