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Social care information for children and families

Children's social care support can provide help to children and their parents if the child:

  • needs support with maintaining their health or development
  • has a disability
  • is in need of protection
  • is fostered, adopted or lives in residential care

A social care professional can provide practical advice and information to help the family. They might:

  • do an assessment of your child’s and family’s needs
  • provide immediate help
  • give you information about other support organisations that could help
  • involve other professionals when assessing the help your child or you may need

How to ask for support

If you need some support or advice about your family, book a conversation with one of our Family Support Workers.

They will be able to direct you to support available in Plymouth, or refer you for further support from a specialist.

Other people may also suggest a referral or may refer your child to social care, with your permission. This could include your child’s health visitor, your doctor, school staff or other professionals working with your family.

If your child has special educational needs or a disability (SEND)

Disabled children are considered 'children in need' under the Children Act 1989 which means that families can request an assessment to consider the needs of their child.

Find out more about the support available for children and young people with SEND or see details of Plymouth’s SEND Local Offer on the Plymouth Online Directory.

Assessment and support

An assessment is a way of finding out about your child, you and your family. It also identifies the support that you may need.

A social worker completes the assessment. The assessment involves collecting information about your child and family.

We may ask other professionals who know you and your child well for information about your child and family such as teachers, doctors, health visitors and childcare providers.

The assessment needs to be carried out within 45 working days from the point of referral.

The social worker will then agree a plan of action with your help. This could be:

  • providing advice
  • recommending other services
  • agreeing a plan of support