If a call handler receives a child protection request for advice without giving names - but decides that contact should be transformed into a referral, should he/she ensure that the referral is completed by a social worker (in line with 'Working together' 5.32 - 'the referrer should have the opportunity to discuss their concern with a qualified social worker') - or is it ok for the call handler to complete the referral without contacting the social work team? In such a case, does the call handler have a responsibility to ensure certain questions, like whether the parents have been informed, and whether the children are at risk of significant harm,have been asked, or is it ok to leave such questions until the contact/referral has been passed on to the s/w team?
(The referrer never spoke to a qualified social worker... and had those two questions above been asked, the nursery say that both answers would have been 'no'.)
I ask because these protocols are all inside statutory frameworks, not absolute law - and it is hard to know how 'wriggle-room' the la's have in this, and so to be able to decide what legal action to take against the la.
We are considering taking the la to court for misfeasance in public office, or perhaps breach of duty of care... we don't want our children to grow up in the shadow of SS child protection records full of inaccurate data, but we are hesitant to spend probably £3000 just to get a barrister merely to read the papers - when throughout our complaints process , through to the LGO, no one has paid much attention to what we see as flagrant breaches.
For instance, the call handler has child protection protocols that he didn't follow. When we asked what these were, we were told in writing that there weren't any. We later obtained them via FOI. Via DSAR, we discovered among the la emails, that the investigator had received copies of these protocols and chosen to ignore them. They were listed among the documents viewed by the IP...but not otherwise mentioned in the investigation.
For instance, the adjudicator 'persuaded' the IP to alter his report...
For instance, we were entitled to advocacy assistance, and continually told that we weren't... for instance, for instance....
On this last point please see my separate post Advocacy.
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