What rights do social workers have?

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What rights do social workers have?

Post by nettydrew » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:03 am

Could someone please advise me what rights social workers have? I was asked to sign some paperwork (was told that it was not a legal document) voluntarily, but was advised that if I didn't they would then get legal advice, which could then result in a child protection conference. I was told that my work would get involved (although when I googled this it stated that myself, my ex husband, my childs school and her gp would be asked, as well as the social services and the person in charge of the conference). The social worker involved with my daughter and myself has not been entirely honest in the risk assessment that she did. Are there any forms that I can filll in to air my opinions, or am I just disregarded? Surely that is not correct? The social worker decided that there was no risk for my child and was going to close the case, but her manager decided otherwise. Also are social workers allowed to have access to your facebook account without permission from the account holder? Do different authories have different rules or should they all be following the same code of conduct? It's just that my local authority has different rules to my now ex partners local authority? I have been to citizens advice, but they said that they couldn't really advise on this as it was above them. Can anyone help please?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: What rights do social workers have?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:05 pm

Dear nettydrew,

Welcome to the Parents Forum.

I can see that a referral was made to children services and that an assessment was carried out. Do you know what the outcome of the assessment is? Is the file going to be closed, or is there going to be a child in need plan or is child protection still a possibility?
Do you know why children services are worried?

You have seen a copy of the assessment but you say there are factual errors.
I agree with you that you need to speak to the social worker about your concerns that the assessment may not be correct. She could consider amending those errors. it is important that children files are a correct record.
if she does not agree with you, then you could ask that your opinion is reflected in the report.

As part of the assessment a social worker might want to see your social media account. She should tell you if she does. However, if there are child protection concerns, she does not have to –if she can search you online anyway.
In respect of children services assessments, the government issued general guidance for social workers when they carry out assessments. But local authorities have adopted different formats. Have a look at your local authority’s policy which you might finds on their website or the website of other local safeguarding board.

Here is some information about assessments.

You talked about making a complaint. At this early stage, I would aim to cooperate as best as possible with children services. This is with a view to the case being closed quickly. A complaint can muddy the water and mean that things take longer to complete. But here is some information about

complaints in case it becomes necessary to take that step.

If you want further advice about this, please post back or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,


Legal Action
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: What rights do social workers have?

Post by Legal Action » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:03 am

I understand that this is an old query, nevertheless, my understanding, so far is that, with allegations and initial queries, Social Services require, under Section 47 Children's Act 1989, reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is at risk.

Do they always have reasonable grounds? No.

Do they investigate on unreasonable grounds? Probably. But, I'm willing to bet that they don't call it an investigation. I suspect they record it as (a visit, a chat, clearing up a misunderstanding) anything, really, just not an investigation, which, by law, needs reasonable grounds.

Thing is, doesnt matter what you call it. Strangers asking you questions is an investigation.

So, if you're 100 percent sure they have no reasonable grounds (I don't mean you're upset and want them to go away) I mean if you know this is a put-up job...

then go into the Social Services main County Council offices, and give them a letter, written by you which says....

Under Section 47 of the Children's Act 1989, Social Services is required to have reasonable grounds to begin an investigation.

What are those grounds, in this case?

Please can you list them, for my solicitor, within the next seven days? This is his address.

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