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Home / Social Care & Health / Children's Services / Child in Need Assessments

Child in Need Assessments

What is an assessment?

Either you, or someone else on your behalf, has asked children's social care for help with some difficulty you are having which affects your child (or children).

Before we can help you, we need to know more about you and your family.  This will involve collecting information, talking this through with you and agreeing what might be done.  We call this an assessment.


Why is an assessment being carried out?

 Through making an assessment of your situation, it should be possible to see what help and support you and your family might need, and who could best give that help.

Information will be gathered and written down.  Although social workers and other professionals will normally take the lead in completing the assessment, this should also be done in a way which helps yout to take part.

Any information you give us will be held in confidence by the professionals invilved in the assessment.  if there is a need to discuss the information with anyone else, we will normally ask your permission.

The only exception to this, is if information comes to light which in the professional's view, may indicate a serious threat to the welfare and safety of the child.  if this is the case, you will be told what your rights are in this new situation.


What will happen?

Completing an assessment usually means a social worker will meet with you and members of your family.  When children are old enough to take part in the assessment, the social worker will help them to do so.

The assessment will take into consideration your ethnic and cultural background.  If required, help will be provided in your first language, or with a signer if someone in your family has a hearing impairment.

If other people are already helping you and your family, it is likely the social worker will talk to them too.  We shall discuss this with you.

If you do not agree with what the social worker says in the assessment, there will be an opportunity for you to record your point of view on the assessment record.

We aim to undertake an assessment within 7-10 working days of a referral.


What can be expected of children's social care?

We will listen carefully to what you have to say, offer advice and, if necessary, support to help you bring up your children and resolve your difficulties.  We know that with a little help, most families can sort out their own problems, and our aim is to try to help you do that.

We will try our best to offer you any services you need as soon as possible, but there are often many more people needing services than there are services to give.  This means that sometimes, although everyone has agreed that you need a service, it might not be available at the time.  if this happens, we will always look to find an alternative, but we cannot guarantee to provide a particular service.

Related Information


Postal Address Children FIRST,
79 Lansdowne Road,
Bournemouth, Dorset
Telephone Number 01202 458101
Out of Hours Telephone Number

Out of Hours:
01202 657279

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