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Who gets help from Children's Social Care

Duties and responsibilities

The Government requires Cheshire West and Chester Children's Social Care to provide services for children in need in their area. Children in need are children with disabilities and children whose health and development may suffer significantly without support. Children's Social Care, along with other agencies, has a duty to protect children from harm.

Children in need

Children may be in need or vulnerable in many different ways. The majority of children will have their needs met by their families, friends, and services in the community, such as health and education.

Most families experience problems in their lives, sometimes these can be overwhelming and families need all the help they can get. Families that Children's Social Care becomes involved with will also have different needs. Some may be helped with information, advice or practical services. Other families can experience problems that are complex, serious and require a more detailed assessment in order to plan the services that are needed.

Who can get help and when will they get it

As Children's Social Care's resources are not unlimited, decisions have to be made about who will receive a service and how quickly a service will be provided.

To help us decide who gets a service we assess the needs of children and families:

  • There may be situations where families are generally coping but need help with specific problems. For example, where a child's health or development may be impaired. In these situations, Children's Social Care may offer advice and information and/or direct families to other services.
  • There may be children, including many disabled children, whose health or development is suffering significantly. The difficulties may be caused by a particular crisis, or the complex needs of the child or family.
  • Where Children's Social Care is aware of families in these sorts of situations, they will involve the family and other agencies in an assessment to understand the needs of the child and the family. From this assessment a decision will be made about what services are needed and who will provide them.

Children's Social Care is sometimes given information that may raise concerns that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This may include situations where there is concern about serious abuse to a child, or that a child is not being cared for properly.

There will be an immediate response from Children's Social Care along with other key agencies. An assessment will be done, involving the family and other agencies to consider the impact of any harm, the needs of the child and any action or services that are required.

Your views

Information, views and comments from children and families are important at all stages. They help in making the best assessments of children in need and they help to improve the quality of services that we provide. So tell us what you think.

If you are not satisfied about services you receive, try and sort it out with the people you are dealing with first. If you are still unhappy, then use the council's formal complaints procedure.

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