FAQ

I have an urgent concern about a child – what do I contact?

If you feel that a child is at immediate risk of harm in their current situation, please call 999 and seek the attention of the emergency services. 

I have a concern about a child, what should I do?

During working hours (8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on a Friday) B&NES Children’s Services can be contacted on 01225 396312 or 01225 396313. Please select option 2 from the menu to speak to one of our Referral and Information Assistants (RIA'S) who will be pleased to hear your concerns. 

If you are a member of the public, you are able to share concerns with us anonymously if you wish to do so. 

If you are a professional, the Referral and Information Assistants (RIA's) may be able to suggest other services that could support children and families, or let you know if the concerns mean that a Request for Service form (also known as a C2) should be completed so that further safeguarding enquiries can be completed.

The main task of the RIA's is to take new referrals over the telephone completing their First Response questions form (this is an internal document to help them make a decision).  They may ask you lots of questions and for key details so that the level of concern is clear.  They will talk to a Social Worker and between them decide if this new contact can be resolved with their support and guidance OR if it needs to be put for the attention of a duty Social Worker for further consideration.  All managers will be informed of urgent cases.  The RIA's will promote Early Help as well, especially if your referral does not meet the threshold for Social Care. 

What if it’s not during working hours? 

We are supported by an Emergency Duty Team who operate when our offices are closed at night, over the weekends and on Bank Holidays. They can provide social work assistance if your concern can not wait until we are next available and can be contacted on 01454 615165. 

They will share information with us as needed for follow up by daytime services. 

How do I make a request for service? 

Professionals will need to submit information on our Request for Service form. 

This is easily accessible on our website and can be found at the following link: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/children-young-people-and-families/child-protection

Please carefully read the guidance on the form and ensure that parents have been informed, if safe to do so. Please contact us to discuss this if you are concerned about doing so. 

If you are a member of the public, you do not need to complete this form and are welcome to contact us by telephone - please dial 01225 396312 or 396313 and select option 2. 

How do I check if a child has a social worker?

If you are a professional, please contact us on 01225 396312 or 396313 and select option 2 to speak to a Referral and Information Officer. They will provide you will the name of the social worker and their team, and assist you in either speaking to them or putting you through to their team. 

Please note that we cannot provide members of the public with information about children and families, including who the named social worker is, unless they hold parental responsibility for the child in question. 

How can I access early help services in B&NES?

There are many ways in which you can do this. You can speak with an involved professional who works with your family and ask them to complete an early help assessment to identify early help services that can support your children. If there is one service that is most appropriate for your family, you can either self-refer or ask a professional to help you with this. If, on speaking with professionals, you are not sure what the best services are for your family, they can complete a Request for Service form http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/children-young-people-and-families/child-protection to request that our Early Help Allocation Panel considers how your family is supported. You can also speak to a Referral and Information Officer on 01225 396312 or 396313 to discuss what is going on in your family and they can assist you in making a referral to the Early Help Allocation Panel.

A child has an allocated social worker, how should I contact them?

Please contact us on 01225 396312 or 396313 and select option 1 to speak to the child’s social work team. A member of staff in the team the child’s social worker is in will assist you in either speaking directly to your social worker or taking a message so that they can return your call. 

I’m interested in fostering or adoption, who should I contact?

Please contact us on 01225 396312 or 396313 and select option 1 then option 7 to speak to our Family Placement Team, who will be pleased to provide you with more information regarding becoming either a foster carer or adopter. 

My child has a diagnosed disability, who do I call to see what support and services I can access?

Please contact us on 01225 396312 or 396313 and select option 1 then option 5 to speak to our Disabled Children’s Team.

What information can Children’s Social Care share about my child and family?

Children’s Social Care can give feedback about the outcome of a request for service to our professional referrers and to parents / carers who hold parental responsibility, but cannot give feedback to our anonymous callers or people who we do not have consent to speak with. We can speak to professional agencies about you or your family with your consent. This can be overridden if we are so worried about your child that we feel there is a need to gain and share information in order to keep them safe. We work in line with the General Data Protection Regulations.

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