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Getting support

1 May 2018

Families can approach Children's Social Care directly to ask for support. If it is an emergency please contact us at the numbers below.
Children & Families Hub on 0345 603 7627 (Mon – Thurs 8.45am – 5.00pm, Fri 8.45am – 4.30pm) 
Emergency Duty Service on 0345 606 7627 (Mon – Thurs 5.00pm – 8.45am, Fri 4.30pm – Mon 8.45am including Bank Holidays). 
Requests for support are also taken from members of the public and other professionals.  
Non-urgent requests can be submitted on the online portal.
When a request for support is received the Children and Families Hub will review the information provided, make telephone enquiries and decide which services would best meet your child and family's needs.  If it is decided that support from children's social care might be needed the request for support will be passed to one of the local children's social care teams and a social worker will visit your family and complete an assessment with you. This will focus on your family needs and how we can help meet them.
Here you can find information on:

The social worker will need to speak to all family members to get an understanding of how best to help. They will then discuss with your family what support you feel would be useful, what help is available and agree a way forward.

Timescales

Most assessments take approximately 20 days to complete.  If, after this, it is agreed that more time is needed to understand your family's difficulties, then the assessment can be extended up to 45 days.  Your social worker will let you know how long your child's assessment will take.

The role of the social worker

The social worker will include all family members in the assessment and may need to speak to each person individually. The social worker will also ask your permission to talk to other people who work with you and your family, such as a teacher, GP or health visitor. Including these people in the assessment helps build a picture of your family's needs and enables these professionals to understand the difficulties you are having and offer support where possible.

Next steps

If your family needs further services these will be identified. A support plan will be created and agreed by you, the social worker and other professionals involved. To ensure that this support is provided, and that it improves your family situation, the plan will be reviewed on a regular basis.
Wherever possible we aim to provide support to children and families within their homes. If you are an adult or a carer and there is a risk of harm to your child then our page on protecting vulnerable children provides child protection guidelines.
In some cases it might be necessary for children to be placed in foster care in order to protect them. This information can be found on our page about looked after children.
If your child has a disability, we will pass the initial assessment on to our Children with Disabilities service.
If you think that you need an assessment, or if you are concerned about a child's welfare and wish to make a request for support to the Children and Families Hub, please contact us through the online portal essexeffectivesupport.org.uk or or by telephone on 0345 603 7627

Helpline

Where there are immediate concerns about the safety or welfare of a child or young person please call:
Children & Families Hub on 0345 603 7627 (Mon – Thurs 8.45am – 5.00pm, Fri 8.45am – 4.30pm)  
Where a situation is urgent and cannot wait until the next working day:
Emergency Duty Service on 0345 606 7627 (Mon – Thurs 5.00pm – 8.45am, Fri 4.30pm – Mon 8.45am including Bank Holidays).