Social care support for children and families
We provide services that protect, care for and support the most vulnerable children and young people in the borough.
Who can get support
Most children and young people's needs will be met through universal services, for example by schools, youth services, GP surgeries as well as from support within the family.
A relatively very small number of children and young people require specialist support from children's safeguarding and social care. This will include children and young people who are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm and those whose development will be significantly impaired without the provision of services.
How we can help
If the duty social worker thinks that we may be able to help you, he/she will need to discuss with you the problems you are facing and initially try to resolve them by providing appropriate advice and information.
If a family requires more than advice and information, an initial assessment may be carried out. This should be carried out within ten working days. The social worker would normally try to visit the home and, where appropriate, involve the children in the interview. Contact with other involved agencies such as the school or health visitor may be part of this assessment.
Where family difficulties are complex, intense or long-standing, then a more detailed assessment would also be completed. This is called a 'core' assessment and would involve a number of interviews with family members and in-depth discussions about family life and the children's needs. The social worker should complete this work within 35 working days. He or she will fully share the results of this assessment with the family.
Contact the Children's Referral and Assessment team, or for problems relating to the following: -
- If our child has severe learning or physical disabilities and you require a social work service, please contact the disabled children's social work and short break team.
- If difficulties arise outside of normal office hours, contact our Emergency Out-of-Hours Service on 020 8464 4848 . There is a social worker on duty to provide a service in emergency situations or on behalf of someone else, if they are concerned about the welfare of children.
- For general advice about welfare benefits, debt management and housing issues, please contact your local Citizens Advice Bureaux or other specialist advisory agency.