You have the right to be safe and protected
If someone has told social work or the police that they are worried about you, it is important that you know what's happening and why.
This is to help you understand:
- why this person is worried about you
- what is happening just now and what might happen next
- what help you can get
Why is someone worried about you?
Someone is worried because they think you might not be safe, might have been harmed, or are not being looked after properly.
What is happening just now?
If someone has told social work or the police that they are worried about you, they will want to:
- Make sure you are safe
- Speak to you
- Listen to you and find out what, if anything, has been happening
When social work or police speak to you, you can speak to them on your own or you can have an adult you trust with you
What you have to say is very important. What you and other people say will be written down to make sure that everyone is clear about what's been said.
Social work and police may also want to speak to other people who know you and your family well such as a close family member, your teacher, school nurse or a support worker.
It is usually better if you are able to be looked after by your own family in your own home. However, if this is not possible because there are concerns about your immediate safety you might have to be looked after by someone else.
What will happen next?
The person who cares for you will also have their views about your family situation included and most importantly your views will be asked for and written down.
After speaking to everyone, the social worker will make sure you are considered above everything else, and that any risks to you being safe or any worries about the way you are being cared for are looked into.
If social work and police believe you are safe and not at risk of harm, there might be no need fo further contact with them. However, if you or your family need help and support this will be arranged.
Sometimes a meeting called a case discussion or child / young person's planning meeting can be arranged to make sure you and your family get the right help when you need it.
If you are not safe or not being looked after
If there are worries that you are not safe or being properly looked after a meeting called a child protection conference will be held. If this is going to take place your social worker will discuss this with you and give you further information.
Your views matter
It is important you tell someone who can help you what you think about your situation and, if you can, tell them what you want to change (if anything). You also have the right to attend any meeting arranged to discuss concerns about you. If you only want to be at part of the meeting, this can be arranged.
It's all about you, and your views matter.
Where to get help
You may be worried or upset just now, but there are people who can offer support, and help to you. If you need to speak to someone, please speak to an adult you trust. You can speak to a teacher, social worker, health visitor or youth worker.