As a service provider, you may be well positioned to offer support or assistance to a child who may have been abused or neglected. For example, the child welfare worker may ask you to assist by:
- offering an appropriate place for the child welfare worker to interview the child
- being present during the interview to support the child if requested
- offering your support to the child and/or family if they would like to talk with someone
The Child Welfare Worker’s Role
|Receive the report|
|Will talk to you about what happens next and advise you of any ongoing responsibility you may have.|
|Assess the report|
|Will gather enough information to determine the most appropriate response to the report and whether the child is at immediate risk of harm.|
|Determine the least disruptive response to keep the child safe|
|Will take immediate action in collaboration with other service providers, such as police, school personnel, medical professionals, child care providers, etc.|
The response will vary on a case-by-case basis, depending on the circumstances.
If the child is not at immediate risk of harm, the child welfare worker may offer the family support services, refer the child and/or family to a community agency, or take no further action, if no further action is needed.
|Initiate collaborative planning and decision-making|
|Often will work directly with the family (and others as appropriate) to develop a plan to keep the child safe – without having to go to court.|
|Will gather and assess as much information as possible from various sources to determine the risk of harm to the child. You may be asked to provide any relevant knowledge of the child or family.|
If the child is Aboriginal, their band or community may also be involved.
|Protect the child|
|If the investigation determines that the child needs protection, the child welfare worker will take whatever steps are most appropriate and least disruptive to the child.|
The child welfare worker may only remove the child if the child is in immediate danger, or if there is no less disruptive way to ensure the child’s safety. In those cases, a Family Court Judge will hear evidence from all sides and make the final decision about where the child will live.