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Council Services:

Child Protection

The Children Act 1989 places a duty on Social Services departments to protect children and young people from harm caused by abuse or neglect.

All children deserve the opportunity to achieve their full potential.  All those who work with children and their families in Lincolnshire share a commitment to five priorities.  These are that children should be safe and protected, happy and healthy, and are able to learn and achieve.  Everyone should work together to tackle poverty and finally there should be community aspiration  to support children and their families to do well in their lives in every aspect. 

Parenting, family life, and services

Patterns of family life vary and there is no one, perfect way to bring up children. Good parenting involves caring for children’s basic needs, keeping them safe, showing them warmth and love and providing the stimulation needed for their development and to help them achieve their potential, within a stable environment where they experience consistent guidance and boundaries.

Parenting can be challenging. Parents themselves require and deserve support. Asking for help should be seen as a sign of responsibility rather than as a parenting failure.

A wide range of services and professionals provide support to families in bringing up children. In the great majority of cases, it should be the decision of parents when to ask for help and advice on their children’s care and upbringing. However, professionals do also need to engage parents early when to do so may prevent problems or difficulties becoming worse. Only in exceptional cases should there be compulsory intervention in family life: for example, where this is necessary to safeguard a child from significant harm. Such intervention should - provided this is consistent with the safety and welfare of the child - support families in making their own plans for the welfare and protection of their children.

A Shared Responsibility

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children - and in particular protecting them from significant harm - depends upon effective joint working between families, children themselves, agencies and professionals all of whom have different roles and expertise.  Individual children, especially some of the most vulnerable children and those at greatest risk of social exclusion, will need co-ordinated help from health, education, children’s social care, and quite possibly the voluntary sector and other agencies, including youth justice services.

In order to achieve this joint working there need to be constructive relationships between family members and individual workers, promoted and supported by:

  • a strong lead from elected or appointed authority members, and the commitment of chief officers in all agencies - and in particular, the Local Authority’s Director of Children’s Services and Lead Member for Children’s Services. 
  • effective local co-ordination by the Local Safeguarding Children Board in each area.

For those children who are suffering, or at risk of suffering significant harm, joint working is essential, to safeguard and promote welfare of the child(ren) and - where necessary - to help bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against children. All agencies and professionals should:

  • be alert to potential indicators of abuse or neglect; 
  • be alert to the risks which individual abusers, or potential abusers, may pose to children; 
  • share and help to analyse information so that an assessment can be made of the child’s needs and circumstances; 
  • contribute to whatever actions are needed to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare; 
  • take part in regularly reviewing the outcomes for the child against specific plans; and 
  • work co-operatively with parents unless this is inconsistent with ensuring the child’s safety.

In addition, community members need support in understanding how to safeguard children.

This service is available to all children and young people in Lincolnshire.

If you have concerns about the well being of a child, please don't keep them to yourself.  You can contact Children’s Services in the following ways:

During office hours - 8.45am to 5.15pm (4.45pm Friday) telephone 01522 782111

In an emergency, outside office hours (including weekends or Bank Holidays) telephone 01522 782333.

Once you have contacted us, someone will take more details from you and discuss the situation. Experienced staff will make a judgement on whether action needs to be taken, or not and how quickly.  If you are a member of the public or not the parent of the child, it may not always be possible to let you know what has happened because of confidentiality.

Combining your information and anything already known, a decision may be taken to conduct an investigation to establish whether the child is at risk of harm or not.

You need to be aware that Children’s  Services staff will be helped if they can fully share the worries you have with the family, but if you decide you wish to remain anonymous this will be respected as far as reasonably possible.

Following an enquiry, Children’s Services staff would either:

  • Decide no further action is required 
  • Offer the family help or advice to resolve any difficulties 
  • Call a meeting to decide whether the child is in need of a protection plan.

Contacts

  • Children's Services

    Tel: 01522 782111

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Last updated: 4 August 2017

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