What if children’s services receive information that makes then concerned about the safety of an unborn baby?
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Children’s services departments sometimes receive information from someone worried about the safety of an unborn baby. This is called a referral. A referral may come from a member of the public or a family member. It can come from a practitioner involved with the family. This could be a midwife or a GP for example.
Children’s services should then decide certain things within one working day:
- Whether to start an assessment
- And if so, what type. This could be a:
- Child in needassessment focussing on support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, or
- Child protection enquiries and assessment under section 47 of the Children Act 1989.
- Tell the person who made the referral what action (if any) they plan to take
- Tell the parent and the child what action (if any) they plan to take. Unless doing that may place the unborn at risk of harm.
See Working Together 2018, page 33, paragraph 78 onwards.
Whether a referral leads to children’s services making child protection enquiries will depend on the precise situation.