LEGAL EAGLE: It is advisable to engage with Social Services when required

Social Services has become involved with my family following an anonymous tip-off. The social worker has visited my home and expressed concerns about my lifestyle and children. Do I have to let her into my home and work with her?
When required, it is best to engage with social Services. Photo posed by modelsWhen required, it is best to engage with social Services. Photo posed by models
When required, it is best to engage with social Services. Photo posed by models

The local authority has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in its area. It also has a duty to investigate if they think a child is at risk of significant harm.

Parents are often offered Early Help or a Child in Need Plan. This is low level local authority involvement which would offer you support, advice and intervention to help you address their concerns.

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It is advisable to work with the local authority, even on a voluntary basis to avoid any escalation.

If you fail to engage with the local authority or their concerns escalate, this may lead into investigations.

As a result of the investigations, you may be invited to a Child Protection Conference.

This is a meeting where professionals will decide whether a Child Protection Plan is needed.

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If it is decided that a Child Protection Plan is required, professionals will decide upon an appropriate plan which would aim to address their concerns.

If you fail to engage with the plan or the concerns further escalate, the local authority may initiate the Public Law Outline (PLO) process.

This is the final step before court proceedings are issued.

You will be invited to a PLO meeting where the concerns will be discussed.

At the meeting, the local authority may inform you that they are issuing an application to court, or they may give you a final chance to work with them.

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During the PLO process, you may be asked to complete a Parenting Assessment, which will assess your parenting ability.

Although you are currently being asked to work with Social Services at a low level and on a voluntary basis, it is advisable that you engage with them to avoid escalation.

For further advice please do not hesitate to contact us at Ben Hoare Bell LLP Solicitor on 0191 565 3112 or email [email protected]. Visit for further information.

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