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Children's care services

Bringing up children is exciting and enjoyable. It can also be demanding, tiring and stressful. We all need some help at times. We offer a range of children's services that can help support children, young people and families.

These services include:

  • children in need
  • disabled children (including specialist services)
  • child protection service.

As well as supporting families we also have a legal duty to protect children and young people who are at risk of neglect or abuse and support them if a court decides they can no longer remain with their own family.

If you're worried about a child's safety please contact Call Derbyshire straight away tel: 01629 533190.

Derbyshire always needs adoptive families and foster carers, if you could give a child a home why not visit our adoption and fostering pages (opens in a new window) to find out more.

Children in need

A few children, young people and families have such significant or complex needs that they require support from social care services.

Social care provides a range of specialist and safeguarding services. These services may be provided for a short period of time to help a family in a crisis or as part of a longer term plan of support.

These services can only be provided after one or more of the following social care assessments. Children, young people and their families are encouraged to contribute to the assessment and will always receive a copy of it.

As part of the assessment process information is recorded about the child, young person and family.

Disabled children

If your child has a disability or additional needs there is practical support, information and advice for children, young people and their families.

In this section you will find more information about:

  • inclusive activity groups for children who have additional needs
  • help to find useful aids or equipment for everyday living or adapting your home
  • support for children with a sensory impairment (vision or hearing)
  • short-break services for disabled children and young people
  • specialist services for disabled children and young people who have a high level of need
  • how we can help prepare young people for moving into adulthood, living independently and direct payments.

Specialist services for disabled children

Looking after a disabled child or young person can cause significant stress at times and some families may need higher levels of support to maintain an ordinary family life.

Sometimes this will be for a few weeks or months to overcome a difficult time but sometimes it will be for a longer period of time.

The specialist disabled children's service will usually only be involved where a child or young person has significant, permanent disability or impairment and there is also an additional need, for example:

  • parent, family support or sibling support
  • promoting independence and social development
  • child protection
  • prevention of coming into care or being placed away from home.

Service can only be provided as part of an agreed plan following a needs led assessment. Usually this will be a social care single assessment but it could also be a nursing assessment, or specialist sensory assessment.

Any assessment will always include the wishes and feelings of the child or young person using person centred approaches and will take into account parents needs as carers.

Child protection service

If you believe that any child is in danger contact Call Derbyshire tel: 01629 533190 choosing the option for urgent child protection calls at any time. Or contact the police tel: 101 (available 24 hours per day).

If there are concerns about a child or young person's safety then a social worker must carry out an assessment under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 which includes seeing the child or young person.

Parents are normally asked for their consent before an assessment begins but a safeguarding assessment can take place even if parents do not agree to it.

Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board publishes several leaflets for parents, carers and young people that explain what will happen in more detail.

Children we look after

Most children and young people in Derbyshire enjoy happy and successful lives living within their own families. If families experience particular problems or stress, they can call upon a wide variety of additional support, offered by a range of agencies, to help keep the family living and working together.

Through local partnerships, such as multi-agency teams (MATs), preventative approaches and early intervention strategies are deployed to prevent family breakdown and support parenting. Derbyshire is committed to providing the right support to improve outcomes for children and young people throughout the 'child's journey'.

For some children and young people this might not be enough to ensure their safety and well-being. So, either through agreement with their parents, or through court proceedings, these children might come to be cared for by the local authority.

When this happens, we provide alternatives to their family care, for example foster care, residential care or adoption.