What social workers do for children

Children’s social workers are there to protect the interests and welfare of children. It’s a legal responsibility. Sometimes you’ll meet with one because you’ve asked for help. Other times, a concerned person has got in touch with Children’s Services because they’re worried about your children and think you might need support.

Having an assessment with a social worker

The first thing any social worker will tell you is why they need to visit, who’s worried and what the worries are. They might tell you they need to visit to do an assessment. It’s a chance for you to explore those worries together, and give your view on what’s going well and what’s a struggle. Tell the social worker if there’s support you need to help keep your child safe and well.

They’ll also want to talk to your children, and, if needed, your wider family and other important people in your children’s lives. And they’ll speak to people like your family GP to share information about the kind of help you might need.

Working with your social worker to keep your children safe and well

Your social worker will talk to you about the kind of support you can get. It could be that you just need a small or short service to get things back on track. If things are more complex and you need more help, they’ll put a plan together with you and your family. They’ll arrange meetings with you and people you’ve said can help, as well as professionals like your children’s teachers and/or health visitor.

Everything in the plan is written down, so you’re all clear about what needs to change, who’s helping and which services you’re getting support from. The social worker will then meet with you and the others in your support network regularly. As things change, they’ll keep talking to you about how it’s going and what help you do or don’t need at each stage.

Get in touch with a social worker

Email us at childrensmashteam@bexley.gov.uk or call 020 8303 7777 and ask for children’s social care.

Or you can write to Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath DA6 7AT.

What to do if you have a question or complaint about a social worker

A social worker must have a recognised qualification like a diploma or degree in social work. They also have to be registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC). You can check online that your social worker is registered.

If you’re not happy about the way a social worker has worked with you, the first thing to do is speak to their team manager. They’re best placed to try and sort out what’s happened. 

If you’re still unhappy and want to make a formal complaint, email complaints@bexley.gov.uk or call 020 8303 7777 and ask for the complaints department.