What happens when a child at risk is reported to us?
If we hear about a child or children who appear to be neglected, ill treated or not thriving, we have a statutory duty to clarify the situation. We will contact the parents and find out if there are any particular problems. Often in such situations we will also wish to talk to the child’s school or health visitor and GP, or any other professional who has information about the family.
Usually what is most helpful for children is to support the family so they can stay together.
However, the law allows us in certain circumstances, to take action to protect a child from abuse or neglect. This may involve calling a child protection conference to consider whether a child needs to have a child protection plan.
In exceptional circumstances the need to protect a child may include removing a child from their home for a short period of time or until the problems at home have been sorted out. Such a step can only be taken by Children’s Social Care with the prior consent of a court or with the agreement of the parents.