How and why social workers become involved in child protection
Social workers receive information (referrals) from other professionals and the public if they are concerned that a child is being harmed or at risk of being harmed.
Social workers then have a duty by law to investigate the situation or circumstances that have led to the referral. They will:
- complete an assessment/child protection investigation in partnership with the police and talk to the child or young person, family members and visit the family home.
- contact all agencies that are directly involved with the child and ask them for information about the child's welfare
- in some situations involve the police who also have a duty to investigate circumstances where it is believed a child has been harmed
There are a number of categories of harm that social workers investigate and these can include physical, emotional or sexual abuse and/ or neglect. These categories include children witnessing domestic violence.