Social care for children

What we do

Our goal is to make a difference to the lives of all children and families in the district, supporting and helping in all aspects of family life.

Our children’s social care services work with the most vulnerable children in the district. Our job every day is to help keep them happy, safe and healthy. You might know this as children’s social services.

We listen to their stories and think about what changes need to be made to make things better and give them the best chance to have fulfilling lives. We offer them the support they need to make the right decisions for their lives. We want to make sure our services are able to support as many children as possible.

Some children will need more support than others. This can be for any number of reasons: health needs, emergency support, difficulties in the family, if they are unsafe, education issues or sometimes they just need some advice.


We may need to carry out an assessment when you or someone on your behalf feels your family needs extra support.  Assessment means that we gather information to help us to make a decision about how we are best to support you or your family. You may have asked for help as you are struggling with a part of your family life.

It might be that someone else is worried about your child or family’s safety. Some of the people who might have worries about your family could be your friends, teachers, doctors, health visitors or neighbours. They may have concerns and feel your family may require support and so they have called Children’s Social Care to see if we can help.

The assessment will help us understand what is happening for you and your family.  If the assessment identifies any risks to your child, we will work with you to see how these risks can be reduced.

The role of social workers for children and young people

Every local authority area has to have social workers for children and families. In the Bradford District, children’s social services are run by Bradford Childrens and Families Trust.  Social workers work in teams with other social workers and support workers and are run by a team manager and service manager.

Every child or young person in our care has to have a named social worker who will make sure they are well looked after and take a special interest in them. 

There are lots of different kinds of social workers. The ones who work with children are there to help their families make sure that they are safe, happy and healthy. They do this by talking to children, young people and their families and other people such as schools, doctors, health visitors, the police and community organisations. By working together with everyone, social workers can put a plan in place that offers the right help to families at the right time for some families, life is very complicated and difficult.

Sometimes parents struggle to look after their children and this can be due to lots of different reasons.  If parents find they can’t give their children what they need the social worker and other people will talk to the children and their parent or carers to see how they can be supported.

Social workers try very hard to keep families living together as this is the best thing but for some children, this may mean that they cannot stay living at home, some families might ask other people to look after their children but for some children this might mean that social workers have to go to court to ask the Judge to choose what happens.

For some children and young people this may mean that they have to be looked after by someone who is not in their family such as a foster family or they might go to live in a residential children’s home.

If you have a social worker, they will:

  • work with you and your family when you need more support
  • listen to what you have to say and talk to you to make your life better
  • make a plan for you and your family that will make that happen
  • work with other people that care for you, like schools or your doctors, so you get the things you need.
  • find what works well in the family

You can get in touch with them when needed.

The role of social workers for families

  • Social workers work with children and their families when they need extra support.
  • They listen to the family about how things are and how things have been in the past.
  • They look for strengths and positive areas within the family.
  • With the family, they create a plan for the children and family that will help their situation.

If the situation is not safe for the child the role of the social worker is to act on these concerns.

Although we try to keep families together, sometimes this isn’t best for the child. At these times, we will start a formal and legal process to look into where the child will live.

Depending on the needs of the child they could live with a relative or friend or a trained foster carer.

Throughout this process we will always talk to the child and family and support them, including getting legal help.

Find out about the Safeguarding and Reviewing Unit.

How to contact us

Please contact us if you would like further information or advice or you are concerned about the safety or welfare of a child.