We are still here to keep children and young people safe, throughout the coronavirus outbreak.
Most children are safe at home. But we know that some are not. Children and young people are not being seen by the many different adults who would usually come into regular contact with them. This is because schools, colleges and early years settings are currently closed, and the social distancing and self-isolating measures.
It is more important than ever that extended family, friends, neighbours and communities speak up and say something if they have concerns. It is everyone's responsibility to keep children safe and report concerns. We all need to play our part.
In an emergency, always call the police on 999.
If you are worried about the safety or welfare of a child please call us on 0344 800 8020.
If you see something, or hear something that doesn’t feel right – say something.
When a professional, family member or member of the public is concerned about a child’s welfare or safety, they can contact us so we can look into it. This is called making an enquiry or referral.
The enquiry or referral will be handled by the Children’s Advice and Duty Service (CADS). The CADS team is a team of experienced social workers, working in partnership with police, probation services and health service to safeguard children and vulnerable adults in the community.
When they receive an enquiry or referral, partners will share information to decide if:
If you call out of hours (such as weekends, bank holidays or evenings) your call will be taken by our out of hours staff. They will make a decision as to whether the information you give us needs to be dealt with immediately, or whether it can wait until our CADS service returns to work. The staff you speak to will tell you what to expect.
Usually you will be told if an enquiry or referral has been made about a child in your care. If this has been made by a professional, for example a social worker, doctor, teacher or other professional, they will usually inform you of their concerns and ask your permission to contact us. However in exceptional circumstances, such as risk of significant harm to the child, an assessment can be made without your consent.
Your information will only be used to decide whether:
Your information will be held in a safe place and will not be shared with other people unless they have the legal power to see it.
Yes. Information may be shared without your permission if:
Yes, you can see the information Children’s Services holds about you. The Data Protection Act 1998 lets you ask for a copy of the information held about you. If you would like to request this, please contact us in writing.
If the child is thought to have been hurt or is at risk of significant harm they will be referred to the appropriate team. Information may be shared with the police to help stop or solve a crime.
If there are no safeguarding concerns but we think your child or you would benefit from extra support, we will ask for your consent to share your child’s name, address, reason for the enquiry and outcome with other agencies and services to offer you the support you need.