A Child Protection Inquiry is an investigation that social workers and police officers carry out together when there are concerns that you are at risk of harm. They need to get more information to find out what, if anything, needs to be done to make sure that you are safe.
The most important person they'll want to talk to is you. They will also talk to other people who know you. This can include:
- your parents or carers
- people in your family
- teachers at school
- your doctor
- other adults who are involved in your life
Who Will Talk to You?
Both a social worker and police officer together, or one of them alone. This is so you can tell them about any worries or concerns you have about yourself. They will:
- ask you if you think you are safe or at risk of harm.
- probably want to record the discussion with you and check the recording to make sure that they've got it right. It also means that you won't have to be asked the same thing over again by a lot of different people
- be able to listen to what you said from the recording. If anyone else is going to listen to what you have said, you'll be told about it.
When you talk to the social worker and the police officer you can have someone with you if you want. Make sure you tell the social worker that you want someone to be with you.
Where Will This Happen?
In Dundee social workers and police officers who do child protection inquiries, work together at Seymour House. It's not a social work office and it's not a police station. It's a separate place where children and young people who may be at risk of harm can talk about their worries or concerns.
Sometimes, if it's not possible for you to go there, you can talk to the social worker and police officer at home or at school.
If you say that you have been harmed, or the social worker and police officer believe you have been harmed, you might be asked see a doctor. This is so that they can check to see if you're okay. If you have been harmed, the doctor will also look carefully at any injury you have to check out how it was caused. The police may use this evidence if they want to talk to the person who harmed you.
Seymour House also has the facilities for doctors to examine you. This means that you don't have to go anywhere else to be medically examined, unless the doctors think you need to be treated in a hospital.
There will usually be two doctors involved. You can ask for someone to be with you during the examination.
Will I Be Taken Away from Home?
Children and young people are usually best looked after by their own family at home. Some people think and say that social workers want to take children or young people away from their home. That's the last thing they want to do and it will only happen if people believe you are not going to be safe at home. Social workers will work with your family to keep you at home.
Your family needs to be able to keep you safe and look after you properly. If they can't keep you safe then you may need to be looked after away from home. The workers will listen to what you think before they decide what should happen.
If there is a member of your family who can look after you, for example, a grandparent, aunt or uncle, they may be asked to do so. If this is not possible, then arrangements will be made for you to stay with foster carers or, for some young people, in a young persons residential unit.
If you have to live away from home for a while, then social workers and others will work with your family to help them look after you properly. The aim will be to make things better so that you can go home as quickly as possible.
Find out more about Case Conferences