To think social services should be able to do something?

(24 Posts)
Pineapple5678 Tue 03-May-16 17:16:49

I witnessed something at school today which I found very concerning, it was behaviour by a parent and a threat. I gave it some thought and decided to call social services, I didn't take this decision lightly. I know the name of the child , class and obviously the school.
I call up and before I can even say the scenario I'm told without child's full name and address there is nothing they can do? I explain I have the school details and they could contact them for details but they are adamant they can't do anything without address. They suggest I make my concerns known to school and they can pursue it, I explain I wish to remain anonymous and there is no way I can do this if I contact school directly. They say well that's unfortunately all they can suggest.
It just doesn't sound right to me, at no point have they asked what I witnessed to judge the seriousness of it and now I'm left either going to the school or doing nothing.

Cutecat78 Tue 03-May-16 17:18:46

What exactly do you want them to do?

tiggytape Tue 03-May-16 17:19:57

If you witnessed it at school, can you not report it to the school? The school will have both a safe guarding duty and procedure already in place so you may not know the outcome but you will know it has been looked at.
They are also obliged to treat everything confidentially.

AngieBolen Tue 03-May-16 17:19:59

Was it serious enough to go to the police?

Sirzy Tue 03-May-16 17:21:04

Unfortunately though they can't investigate each individual report, they simply don't have the time or resources. Without the full details they don't know if it's a child they are already aware of or a first report.

I can understand your resistance to contact the school, but if you are genuinely concerned you have to. School will know a lot more about the background and will record the incident and arrange any next steps as deemed necessary.

McCunty Tue 03-May-16 17:22:29

Contact the school anonymously and report what you witnessed, you don't have to give the school your details.

Skittlesss Tue 03-May-16 17:23:29

I'm sorry but if what you saw made you ring social services then as far as I am concerned then you should be willing to tell school. Think of the poor child!

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Tue 03-May-16 17:24:12

Write a letter detailing what happened. Print it so hand writing not recognised

Pop it in the office 'quick box' or post it to school.

JonSnowsBeardClippings Tue 03-May-16 17:24:27

They can't follow up a referral without a surname and address! Surely you can share the concerns with the school without identifying yourself?

Makesomethingupyouprick Tue 03-May-16 17:27:05

Social services don't have the time or resources to track down children from anonymous reports unfortunately.

As pp have said - you can report it to the school and they'll have safeguarding policies in place.

soap34 Tue 03-May-16 17:29:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OnlyAFoolsChance Tue 03-May-16 17:35:12

I had a dad in the kids playground after school today go crackers at his son, total shouting and ranting at him. The boy went on his bike, apparently they're not allowed to ride through the playground (fair enough), but as soon as he went on it the dad was really aggressive in his manner towards him and was shouting "You've gone and done it now!" as well as yelling to get off the bike. My kids were quite shocked, other parents were looking and it left me with the dilemma of going in and having a quiet word with the head, or waiting to see if someone else does it. Chances are head will hear of it as a male teacher was nearby and watched with no surprise on his face so makes me wonder if its a regular occurrence.

I'd say if it happened on school grounds, and you felt it warranted enough to call SS, then pass your concerns on to the school instead.

MrsHathaway Tue 03-May-16 17:35:21

Ask to make an appointment with the school's safeguarding officer. When I have had to do this it has been treated extremely discreetly and in a spirit of compassion.

I do hope you feel able to speak to the school about it. They won't tell you anything, and they won't tell anyone else that it was you iyswim.

MrsHathaway Tue 03-May-16 17:36:08

*safeguarding lead, sorry. I was thinking of voluntary organisations.

FarrowandBallAche Tue 03-May-16 17:38:15

SW's have an enormous workload and are seriously underfunded.

I would be very very surprised if they took action on a phone call such as this.

BertieBotts Tue 03-May-16 17:40:02

Agree - speak to school. The school will have a duty to refer on to SS if they deem it necessary.

MadamDeathstare Tue 03-May-16 17:45:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuburbanRhonda Tue 03-May-16 17:47:08

You can also phone the NSPCC for advice.

CaptainCrunch Tue 03-May-16 17:47:22

I used to work for social services and can confirm huge workload and understaffing. I now work in a school in a socially deprived area. I flag up concerns roughly once a month to SS and very little is done. Unfortunately a lot of people think life is like Eastenders when one, vague anonymous call results in a SWAT team of social workers swooping in and removing a child from any perceived danger.

Op if you have serious concerns your anonymity wouldn't bother you enough to leave a child at risk. Tell the head teacher and leave him or her to follow it up at their discretion.

BillSykesDog Tue 03-May-16 17:49:02

That's ridiculous! They didn't even ask her what happened!

No wonder children die if they won't even listen to find out if it's something serious before dismissing.

FarrowandBallAche Tue 03-May-16 17:52:16

They have that many children on their books it would be impossible to take action on every single phone call.

They at least need a name.

CaptainCrunch Tue 03-May-16 17:53:48

I can also confirm that SS get a lot of fabricated malicious referrals which is why full details are necessary, not vague "I saw something in the playground but I don't know their names or addresses". It's totally unreasonable to expect that to be followed up.

WorraLiberty Tue 03-May-16 17:55:44

I was in exactly this position a few years ago.

SS told me to make a statement through the school's CPO, so that's what I (along with other parents) did.

It was completely confidential.

ShtoppenDerFloppen Tue 03-May-16 18:38:08

I understand that you want to do what is best for the child, and you should be commended for that.

SS are so terribly understaffed and pressured. They lack the resources to follow up on a concern raised about "Sally who attends Hillside Academy".

However, I wholeheartedly agree with PPs who have suggested that you take your concern to the school.

The school is duty bound to pass the concern on, and will have access to surname, address, and quite possibly prior SS involvement.

Please do not remain quiet just because reporting is inconvenient. It could mean the world to this child.

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