Children Social Care

Children Social Care

Local authorities have specific duties in respect of children under the Children Acts 1989 and 2004. They have a general duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need in their area and, provided that this is consistent with the child’s safety and welfare, to promote the upbringing of such children by their families by providing services appropriate to the child’s needs. They should do this in partnership with parents, in a way that is sensitive to the child’s race, religion, culture and language and that takes account of the child’s wishes and feelings.

Within local authorities, Children’s Social Care staff act as the principal point of contact for children about whom there are welfare concerns. They may be

contacted directly by children, parents or family members seeking help, by

concerned friends and neighbours, or by professionals and others from statutory and voluntary organisations. Contact details need to be clearly signposted on the local authority website, on agency and public notice boards and in the telephone directory.

Local authorities, with the help of other organisations as appropriate, also have a duty to make enquiries if they have reason to suspect that a child in their area is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, to enable them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.

Where a child or young person is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm,

Children’s Social Care staff have lead responsibility for undertaking an assessment of the child’s needs, the parents’ capacity to meet these needs and to keep the child safe and promote his or her welfare.