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Children’s Services and your child

Every local authority in Wales has a Children’s Services department responsible for improving the outcomes for children and young people who need care and support.

If you, a teacher, the police or another professional think your child is being criminally exploited, you or they should contact Children’s Services. Children’s Services have a legal duty to keep children and young people safe.

If there are concerns about a child’s welfare, Children’s Services must undertake an assessment to find out what is happening.

Children’s Services assessments

The Social Services Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 says that the assessment process should be based on what matters to the child and their family. The assessment should consider the child and family’s strengths, what existing support they are receiving and what support the family needs.

Find out more about Children’s Services and their legal responsibilities to your child.

Speaking to Children’s Services

Some professionals may have limited knowledge and understanding of child criminal exploitation.

This can be frustrating when you are frightened about what is happening to your child. However, it is important that you work with professionals.

Find out the names, roles, and responsibilities of professionals involved with your child. Keep a record of meeting times. It may help to make notes before any meetings about what you want to say. You can take these notes with you to the meetings.

You should also make notes in meetings about what actions have been agreed, the timeframes, and who is responsible for carrying out each action.

Contribute to the assessment

If you have been keeping a record of events and incidents, this should be given to Children’s Services so that they have all the information they need to make an assessment.

The record should include the names of friends or people your child talks about, bus or train tickets for unusual or unexpected trips, and car registration numbers. This helps to build a picture of what is happening and evidence that can be used to show that your child is being criminally exploited.

You should tell them about your worries and any warning signs you have noticed.