In order to receive a service from children’s social care, an assessment needs to be completed to assess the child concerned and/or their family’s needs. The assessment allows a clear picture to be built up of what help and support the child and their family may need. To do this a social care worker will collect information by talking to the child and people close to them, such as their family, teacher, or health visitor. The information that is collected is talked through with the child and their family and together a decision is made about what to do to solve the difficulties that are being experienced.
The Children in Need Duty Team is the first point of contact for members of the public who wish to access children’s social care services, or for professionals who have concerns about a child. They deal with all new requests for help that may need children’s social care involvement.
The team undertakes the initial assessment of the child and their families needs. They complete this under Section 17 and Section 47 of the 'Children Act 1989'. These assessments are undertaken in line with the government's 'Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families'. Following the assessment, services or further social work intervention will be identified to meet the assessed need.
When you phone the Children in Need Duty Team, a member of staff will ask you for details about your circumstances. Depending on the information you give, they will then either:
give you immediate information about services;
give you immediate advice and guidance;
refer you to the appropriate social work team, who will then contact you to arrange an assessment; or
redirect you to a more appropriate source to deal with your request if the council are not able to help.
Referrals can be made from 9am to 5pm by telephoning the Children in Need Duty Team on the contact number below.
Referrals of an urgent nature between the hours of 5pm and 9am and at weekends and Bank Holidays can be made by contacting the Central Duty Team on the telephone number below.