Children’s services support and protect vulnerable children, young people, their families and carers. If you're worried about your child's general development or wellbeing and you think they need additional support, you might want to speak to your child’s GP or teacher first.
Wellbeing includes their health and educational needs as well as their social care needs. Ask for advice on what to do next, such as getting an assessment of your child’s needs, using bereavement counselling or joining a young carers group.
If you or your child needs more significant support, contact the children’s services team in your local council for a needs assessment. "Children’s services" is the new term that has replaced "social services".
Use the Directgov website to find your local council and get advice about an assessment. The needs assessment will determine if you need more specialised support. Children’s services must work with you when making any decisions about your child, including what help they will provide to meet your child’s needs. Therefore, you should discuss with them the types of help that would best meet the needs of your family.
Some of the main services available are:
Children’s services are also responsible for foster care and residential care for children who cannot live with their parents, family or friends, whether this is short or long term.
This information was taken from NHS Choice, Guide to Social Care Service. More information can be found here.
A Handbook for Parents and Carers produced by Bristol City Council with general information and advice can be accessed here.