How we protect children and young people
A guide for parents and carers
- Who are we?
- What are our duties and responsibilities?
- When do we carry out a Section 47 Enquiry?
- What are the aims of the enquiry?
- What happens next?
- Do we share information?
- How can you contact the appropriate Children's Social Work Team?
- What if you have further questions?
- How to make a complaint, comment or compliment
The Local Authority has a duty under the Children Act 1989 to make enquiries about any child where there are concerns for their welfare and safety. If you find yourself part of such an enquiry, this page tells you what to expect. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask the Social Worker.
Children's Social Work is 4 teams, based in the Ashton, Denton, Hyde and Stalybridge areas. The teams are made up of Registered Social Workers and Support Workers. We are part of Services for Children and Young People's Specialist Services and Safeguarding.
We have a duty under the Children Act 1989 to safeguard and protect children who may be suffering from abuse. This may be physical, sexual, emotional or as a result of neglect.
We receive information about possible concerns for a child from a range of sources. These include schools, health visitors, the hospital, the police, neighbours, family, the general public or from children themselves. Occasionally we will receive information anonymously.
We have a duty to make enquiries when we receive any information that concerns the safety of a child. We may visit parents or carers at home. It is usual for either two Social Workers or a Social Worker and a Support Worker to carry out an enquiry. Sometimes a Social Worker will visit accompanied by a Police Officer from the Police Family Support Unit.
The Social Worker will need to gather information from the child or children concerned. They will also need to talk with parents, carers and other significant people in the child’s life. This all helps to establish whether or not the child has been or is likely to be harmed.
- If a child has suffered an injury it is possible that a medical examination is the best way to establish the cause. This is often done by a paediatrician (a doctor who specialises in children’s health) at a hospital.
- The police may become involved if there is the possibility that a criminal offence has occurred. We have a legal duty to inform the Police of any incident where a criminal act may have taken place.
- If the child has been or may be harmed, we may call a Child Protection Conference. This is a meeting with you to agree what needs to be done to prevent future harm to your child. Other professionals will be invited to this meeting. You can bring someone to support you to this meeting.
- We may also be involved in supporting a criminal prosecution.
- We may have to consider Care Proceedings. This enables us to make arrangements for the day to day care for your child, possibly away from the family home or with other family members.
- Where harm has occurred to one child in a family, action to protect other young family members will also be considered.
The actions and decisions taken will depend on our assessment of the situation and the commitment of the parents/carers to promote the welfare of the child. You will receive a copy of our assessment.
We can consider a wide range of responses to protect children. Our priority is to offer support and help to keep a family together. However, this may not always be possible.
In some circumstances there may be no further action following our enquiries. The Social Worker will keep the family informed of what is happening.
Sometimes it is necessary to share personal information with other organisations to allow us to work together to provide the best service for you and your children.
We follow strict rules about confidentiality. These tell us what personal information we can collect and how and when we can share this information with other organisations.
Either you or someone else on your behalf can contact:
Children's Social Work Teams, Denton Centre, Acre Street, Denton M34 2BW
0161 342 4477 Send a Message to Children's Customer Servies
Looked After Children's Team, Victoria Street, Hyde SK14 4AA
0161 367 7873 Send a Message to Children's Customer Servies
We hope that this information will answer a lot of your queries. If you would like to know anything else about the process, please do not hesitate to contact the Social Worker. They will have left you with contact details.
Children's Social Care is committed to providing quality services. We need to hear from you if you have any complaints, suggestions or compliments about the service you receive.