You have the right to be safe and to be protected from harm and abuse
Someone has told social work or police that they are worried about you. This page will 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
What’s a child protection investigation?
A Child Protection Investigation happens when social workers and police find out that you might not be safe or are not being looked after properly.
They speak to different people who know you to find out what’s been happening and they work out the best way to keep you safe.
Why someone is worried about you
Someone is worried about you because they think you might not be safe, or might have been harmed, or are not being looked after properly.
What is happening just now?
If someone has told social work or police 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 might also want to speak to other people who know you and your family well. This might be 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, you might have to be looked after by someone else if there are concerns about your safety.
What will happen next?
The person who cares for you will also have their views about your family situation included. Most importantly, your views will be asked for and written down.
After speaking to everyone the social worker will write everything down in a way which makes sure that your needs are considered above everything else. Any risks to your safety and how they affect you, or any worries about the way you are being cared for, will be investigated.
If social work and police believe you are safe and not at risk of harm then there might be no need for further contact with them. However, if you or your family need help and support then this will be arranged.
Sometimes a meeting called a Case Discussion or Child/Young Person’s planning meeting can be arranged to make sure that you and your family get the right help you need, when you need it.
Who else will the police speak to?
Social work and the police might also want to speak to other people who know you and your family well. This might be a close family member, your teacher, school nurse or a support worker.
They will also speak to the person who looks after you.
It is usually better if you can be looked after by your own family in your own home during a Child Protection Investigation. But sometimes you might have to be looked after by someone else if people are worried about you not being safe.
If you are not safe or not being properly looked after
If there are worries that you are not safe or being properly looked after then a meeting called a child protection conference will be held. If this is going to take place then your social worker will discuss this with you and give you more information.
Your views matter
If social work and police think you are safe then you might not need to do anything else. But if you or your family need help and support then this will be arranged.
Sometimes there will be a meeting held called a Case Discussion or Child/Young Person’s planning meeting. This will make sure that you and your family get the right help you need.
It's important that you tell someone who can help you what you think about your situation. 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 then this can be arranged.
It’s all about you, and your views matter.
Where you can get help
You may be worried or upset just now, but there are people who can offer support and help you. If you need to speak to someone please speak to an adult you trust. If you want to, you can speak to a:
- social worker
- health visitor
- advocacy worker
- police officer
In an emergency, if you or someone you know is in danger, call the police on 999 straight away and tell them that you need help.