The Role of the Statutory Agencies
Following a referral to Social Services or the police, a decision will be taken about the most appropriate way to respond to the concerns raised. In some situations, advice will be given about how the issues raised can be dealt with without the involvement of the statutory services and suggestions will be offered about how to access support from other agencies and services.
In circumstances where it is considered that a child is not at risk of significant harm but may benefit from assistance provided by Social Services, this will be acted upon where agreement is given by the parent to this assistance being given. However, in those situations where a safeguarding concern has been referred, Social Services have a duty in law to make enquiries whenever they have reasonable cause to believe that a child living in their area has suffered, or is likely to suffer, significant harm from abuse or neglect. They work with children, young people, parents and other agencies to ensure the safety, protection and wellbeing of children and young people. The police work closely with Social Services when there are safeguarding concerns and particularly when a serious physical assault or a sexual assault might have occurred, or in cases of serious neglect.