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Local authority involvement

The local authority must get involved if they have concerns that a child is suffering, or is at risk of suffering significant harm. This section tells you what might happen if the local authority gets involved, and how to work with social workers to protect a child at risk. They also explain what to do if you aren’t happy with the way that the local authority is dealing with a case.

Where to start

Explains the responsibilities of local authorities and their powers to take action, if they are involved in investigating a case of child abuse.


Explains how local authorities investigate cases of child abuse, covering what section 17 and section 47 investigations are, and what happens during and after the investigation.

Children in need of local authority support

Explains what is meant by a ‘child in need’, when a child is not at risk of significant harm, but the family needs support. Covers how the child is assessed and what is included in a ‘child in need plan’.

If there's a child protection conference for your child

Explains what a child protection conference is and when a local council can call for one to be held.

If there's a child protection plan for your child

Explains what a child protection plan is, why it might be put in place to protect a child, what it covers, reviews and when it may end.

How to deal with social services involvement

Explains what to do if social services are involved with your family, covering co-operating with social services, keeping records, getting advice and how to complain.

UAT (Release)