Social Work Services for children and families
Our Social Work Services provide a range of different types of support to children and families.
Children's Response and Assessment
The Children's Hub
This is a joint service with Hartlepool Borough Council where we receive referrals through The Children's Hub.
The Children's Hub receives all new information about children, young people, and their families. This includes where help and support is required, as well as when children are in need of social work support, protection and care.
The Children's Hub is made up of social workers, police staff and representatives from health and education. Together they make decisions to help keep children and young people safe and protected.
Find out who to contact if you are worried about a child.
The teams assess and work with children and families and will intervene where children need support and protection, to provide help at an early stage. The teams carry out children and family assessments, Section 47 enquiries and undertake children in need work from the beginning.
Team members work directly with children and their families while also partnering with agencies, including the police and health services to ensure an outcome that will lead to sustainable positive change.
The service ensures a strong link with our Help and Support colleagues to promote local community support for children and families when social care no longer needs to be involved.
Children's Social Care Teams
Child Disability Team
Our Child Disability Team provides a specialist service for children with more complex and lifelong disabilities.
Members of the team:
- work with children, their families and other agencies to meet their assessed needs and help them achieve their potential
- provide ongoing help and support to children in need, children in our care or children in need of protection
- provide short break services that come in all shapes and sizes to meet the needs of children and families
Children and Families Social Work Teams
Our social work teams work with children and families where they have been assessed as needing a Child in Need or a Child Protection Plan.
- undertake meaningful, transparent, direct work with children and their families to ensure the most positive outcomes, and act to reduce risks
- play a key role in child protection, child in need cases and safety planning for children
- work with children throughout a court process - from pre-proceedings to initial court hearings and finally court proceedings - to ensure there is consistent support for the child throughout
- work with children who return to their birth families when it is safe to do so
- work within a positive, diverse, and nurturing environment where successes are celebrated and individuals within the team are supported to grow and develop
Children in our Care Services
Our social work teams have a passion for making a difference to children in our care. The teams support children who:
- remain in long-term care if it is not safe for them to return home
- are ready for reunification with their family after long-term care
- are subject to a Special Guardianship Order, helping them achieve permanent homes through reunification with their families
- are leaving care
Children in Our Care also includes Fostering, Special Guardianship services and Residential Children's Homes.
We also work closely with Adoption Tees Valley, who are responsible for finding loving permanent families for children.
Leaving Care Services
The service supports care leavers to make sure they feel supported into independence after leaving care, personalised support is provided but may include:
- deciding where to live
- choosing whether to get into employment, get some more training or study for more qualifications
- budgeting advice
- working out how much support might be needed from a social worker or personal adviser
The level of support that is offered depends on:
- your age
- when and how long you were cared for
- whether you are currently still cared for
Independent Reviewing Officers
Independent Reviewing Officers work with children who are subject to child protection plans and with the children that we care for. They chair conferences and review meetings, ensuring that all our children have plans that are outcome-focused and are achieving positive impact.
The team provide ongoing oversight, leadership, and assurance, driving aspirational practice and improvements across the system.
They do this by:
- chairing child protection case conferences
- chairing reviews for the children that we care for
- offering ongoing oversight, assurance and impact in driving children's plans throughout the child's journey
- providing specialist practice knowledge to support operational teams
Out of Hours Service
Our emergency duty social work team, works with vulnerable children and adults outside normal working hours. Areas of responsibility include child protection, adult safeguarding, and support, undertaking emergency Mental Health Act assessments, supporting families in crisis, and supporting children and young people who have been arrested and are in police custody.