Can social workers look at a parent or carer’s social media accounts?
Under 1 minute read
A social worker may look at a parent or carer’s open social media account if worried a child is not safe or well cared for. This is because social workers have a duty to find out as much information as they can about a child’s situation to:
- Help them understand any risk the child faces
- Make decisions about what steps may need to be taken to keep the child safe and well.
But social workers have a duty to consider and respect confidentiality and people’s right to privacy. This means they should only access a social media account with a parent or carer’s consent. They should not routinely visit a parent’s social media accounts as a way of monitoring their behaviour, for example.
Note: Guidance from the Investigatory Powers Commissioners Office applies to people working for state agencies. This includes social workers in children’s services. And explains when they can look at someone’s social media account without their agreement.