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Advice and Next Steps

If you feel you need further support or want to talk through an issue with a member of our team, you can contact us on 01443 425006 and ask to speak to someone from the Information, Advice, and Assistance Team.

What will happen if I call? 

If you call us, you will speak to a member of our team and will be given the opportunity to talk through your issue or concern. We will listen to you and help to find the best way to support you. This could involve signposting you to local information or to a more relevant service that we feel could help.

If you hold parental responsibility for a child and you call our team, we will have a ‘What Matters’ conversation with you. If you do not have parental responsibility, but we feel a further conversation would be helpful, it will be decided by management and a ‘What Matters’ conversation may take place later.

What is a ‘What Matters’ conversation?

A ‘What Matters’ conversation is when a member of our team speaks with parents who have parental responsibility and carry out a conversation to find out why they have called. We will link in with relevant family members to help build a broader picture of the family and, with your consent, we will also speak to any relevant professionals, such as the police, health, and education, to help us work out how best to support you. We will decide if there is a further role for social services or if you can be supported through other support that is available.

What happens if I don’t have parental responsibility?

If you do not have parental responsibility but are still actively involved in the child(ren)’s life and have concerns, we will take your details and a senior member of our team will decide if a ‘What Matters’ conversation is needed. If it is, the conversation will take place and we will decide if further support from social services is needed.

What happens after the ‘What Matters’ conversation?

Once we’ve had a chat with you and identified the issue, as well as the things that are important to you, we will work with you to plan your next steps. There are multiple forms of support within Children’s Services, and within the community, and we will work with you to find out which service would best meet your needs. If required, we can work with you to help access the right service for you.

This could involve referring you for a further assessment (where a more in-depth conversation will be had and further support can be offered), referring you to our early intervention Resilient Families Service, or signposting you to local support in the community.

If you raise concerns about a child’s safety, or through our conversation we develop concerns, we will refer the child(ren) to our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). This is a team of social workers, police representatives, health, education, and other relevant professional services, who will work to identify any concerns and put safeguards in place to protect the child(ren). If you are concerned for a child’s safety view our safeguarding advice