This part of the Local Offer is all about services in Rutland to support Children's Social Care.
If you are concerned about a child or would like to contact Social Care:
Tel: 01572 722577
Rutland Children and Young People's Services promote and safeguard the welfare of children and we have a legal duty to protect all children and young people from harm, neglect or abuse.
In Rutland, child protection is everybody's business. Child protection means protecting children from physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect.
Anyone who has concerns about a child's welfare should make a referral to the children's Social Care team at the Council - contact details are in the box below.
Referrals can come from children themselves, teachers, GPs, the police, health visitors, helpers, carers, volunteers, family members and members of the public.
Why we are here
To support families whilst in crisis and complete an assessment of a family's needs.
At times, families cannot provide on their own everything a child needs; they may want or need additional help.
The law requires us to carry out a thorough and thoughtful single assessment within forty days. We find a family's strengths, find out how relationships work in a family and how the child is cared for in the network of relations and friendships.
The assessment looks at how the child is developing, how the family functions and the capacity of the parent or carer to meet the needs of the child.
What happens next?
A social worker will meet with family and explain the assessment process. The Council has a legal duty under the Children Act 1989 to undertake a single assessment in order to promote and safeguard the welfare of children.
Other teams and professionals provide services alongside social care, offering a wide range of support to meet the child's needs. Services will work with you to provide tailored care. The social worker will spend time talking to all children who are old enough to share what it is like for them in their family.
The parents' job
To help prepare a plan which helps their child's development and promotes families strengths and minimise the difficulties.
Following the completion of an assessment, a decision will be reached by social care.
We recognise that parents want to do their best for children and a plan of what action will be drawn up which will involve the family's opinions.
The plan will involve putting together support services to provide ongoing help to meet these needs. The decision made by social care will respond to the level of need and what services are needed to ensure the best outcomes for children.
Your social worker will go through the assessment with you and record your comments if required.
What is a Child Protection Conference?
This is a meeting of family members, social workers and other professionals who are involved or have information about the child/children and family who are being discussed at the conference.
It will be chaired by an independent chair who does not manage any of the professionals involved or who work directly with the child/children or the family.
The purpose of the meeting is:
For Professionals to share information they have about their concerns for a child's saftey and well being;
For parents and carers to have an opportunity to respond to the information being shared and concerns raised;
To ensure the information is based on evidence and not speculation or assumption and is focused on the impact to the child/children being discussed;
For professionals and family members to work together on making a plan for the child/children that heklps reduce any risks of harm and to promote their well being.
Once a plan is made for the child/chilren, the professionals will help the chair decide if it needs to be a child protection or a child in need plan.
A child protection plan means they believe a child is in significant risk of harm of abuse or neglet and so there needs to be a high level of support and saftey planning in place to help manage and reduce the risks of harm.
A child in need plan means a child may be at some risk of ham, but it is not believed to be significant rights now. It can also mean the child has needs that will not be met without additional support.
What happens after the conference?
If the child/children are made subject of a child protection plan then a core group of professionals and family members responsible for the plan will be set and they will meet regularly to review and monitor the progress of the plan. A social worker will also visit the children regularly, sometimes unannounced, to get their views and to get their views and to see if they are safe enough.
A review conference will take place within three months after the first meeting and at least every 6 months after each review meeting until the child/children are no longer on a child protection plan.
Can Children or young people attend?
Children and young people can attend the conferences and are often encouraged to. It may not always be appropriate for them to attend all of the meeting. However, the independent chair can help manage the meeting in a way that will make it as comfortable and appropriate for them to attend as possible. It is important to discuss a child or young person's attendance with them, their parents or carers, and the social worker to help decide if and how they should attend and participate.
Rutland County Council's Children's Services is committed to using solution focused approaches when working with children and families. This means we not only identify what the problems are that children are experiencing, but we focus on the solution on how we can make things better and safer for them.
The solution focused model used in social work and early help services is called Signs of Safety. The model used in conferences is called Strengthening Families. Both these approaches are complimentary and their main focus is to help families understand and participate in the child protection and early help processes as much as possible. The goal is to improve the safety, wellbeing and future outcomes for children in Rutland.
Talk to us about the situation
if you look after someone else's child, or know of someone who does you should talk to Children's Services at your local authority.
Support can be put in place where it is needed.
Experienced social workers understand the different and possibly difficult situations which lead to private fostering which lead to private fostering. They also know the law (Children Act 1989) which is in place to make sure all children are safe and well looked after.
What kind of Support do we offer?
Children's Services have an experienced team who can offer advice and a personal contact for you and the child.
A social worker will visit you and the child within a week from the time that a council is told about an arrangement. They will then visit every six weeks during the first year, and once every 12 weeks after that. The social worker can be contacted at any time by the child or the carer if they want to talk to through anything.
The social worker can offer advice on:
Financial Arrangements and help
What is a private fostering arrangement?
A privately fostered child is a child under 16 (or under 18 if the child has a disability) who is being cared for and is living with someone else.
That Carer is someone who is not
- A parent, or other person who holds parental responsibility for the child
- A Close relative; for example, a grandparent, step-parent, brother or sister, uncle or aunt. The relative can be half blood, full blood or by marriage.
It is an arrangement where care is intended to last more than 27 days.
What is private fostering?
If a child is living with, and being cared for by someone who is not a relative, the arrangement is called private fostering.
This can be for a number or reasons and it can be temporary or long term.
Maybe the child's parents are unwell, or there has been some difficulty in the family. The arrangement can be for convenience when the parents live abroad.
Contact us and we can tell you what to do next. We can arrange for information in other languages if required.
Rutland - Call 01572 758 407
Safeguarding Children Board Leicestershire and Rutland
Safeguarding Children Board Leicester