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Support for children and young people

Anxious boy with parents arguing in the background.

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An investigation into a child’s or young person’s need for help will be undertaken following an application for assistance by the parent, child or young person themselves.

An investigation may also be instigated if Social Services receives a report – from another authority or agency or from a private individual – about suspicions that a child or young person is living in a difficult situation.

The obligation to investigate is set out in Chapter 11 Sections 1 and 2 of the Social Services Act.

Investigations must be set in motion quickly and must normally be concluded within four months.
When we receive a report, we contact the parents of the child or young person and the young person themselves.
At the initial point of contact, we determine whether an investigation is needed.
In some cases this initial contact is enough, but when a report is submitted there is usually an investigation into the need for assistance.

In the first instance, we try to help the family to manage their problems with some voluntary initiatives.
Types of support we can provide include a contact person, a support family, discussion groups, family therapists, advice and guidance sessions and input from other agencies.

If the situation in the home is very serious, or if the young person’s own behaviour is so destructive that it puts the young person in serious danger and voluntary assistance is not being accepted, the Social Welfare Committee can apply for guardianship under the Care of Young Persons Act.

Examples of possible support measures

  • Placing a child or young person with a fostering family, in emergency foster care or in a treatment centre
  • Advice and support
  • Network meetings
  • A contact person or support family

Find out more about contact people and contact families under ‘Families, children and young people’.

If you suspect a child is living in a difficult situation

Convention on the Rights of the Child – OHCHRlänk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster

Contact details

Social Services contact line (Socialtjänsten)

0248-70 220

Outside office hours, call emergency social services on 112.