Assessment and child protection services
The Assessment and Child protection Service undertake assessments and investigations of any issues relating to child protection. The service is provided by experienced Social Workers, who undertake assessments involving:
- Home visits
- Consulting with other professionals, practitioners and agencies.
- Gathering information for the assessment.
- Analysing the potential risk to any child or young person.
Who the service is for
The service focuses on the needs of individual children and young people who are:
- Under the age of 18;
- In need of support or in need protection (as defined in the Children Act 1989).
Who can request the service
This service only accepts referrals that are made via the Contact Point and does not accept referrals directly from any other source.
How to access this service
Members of the public and practitioners/professionals should not contact this service directly and should instead contact the Family Contact Point in the first instance where they are worried about a child's safety or welfare.
Assessments that are carried out by the service can vary from 10 days to 35 days in duration. The length of time involved depends on a number of factors, including the:
- Complexity of the situation being assessed.
- Availability of family members, other childcare professionals and practitioners.
- Specific needs of the individual child or young person.
If longer term work (beyond 3 months) is needed, the child will be transferred to either the Community Team North, or South, where care proceedings can also be initiated to secure a child’s safety (within a legal framework provided by the Children Act, 1989). These teams can also initiate a Child Protection Conference to provide a child with a Protection Plan that is reviewed and supported by a group of multi-agency professionals.