Children and families services
If you have or know of a child you think is in danger or it is an emergency, dial 999.
Contact 0300 300 0117 if you are concerned about a child or need information about children's services. This number is for the general public and runs 24 hours per day.
You can also contact us if any of the following points are of concern:
- you are a child being abused
- you believe that a child or young person is being abused or is at risk in some way
- you need help because you feel you are at risk of abusing a child or young person.
Our service's two main tasks on the Island
- To support families to help them look after their children.
- To lead the work to keep children and young people on the island safe and protect them from harm, abuse and neglect.
Children’s social care services share these tasks with other organisations such as:
- health services
- schools and education
- voluntary and independent child care sectors.
Children’s social care services are responsible for taking the lead for responding to concerns about children and young people from the public and other professionals. If a crime against a child may have been committed, the police will also become involved.
Children can be harmed in many ways, through physical, sexual or emotional abuse and through neglect of their basic needs. These can all take place in the home, in the school, at clubs and sports facilities and elsewhere in the community.
We promise to handle the case sensitively taking into account the background and circumstances of the child and family.
We believe that all children and young people on the Isle of Wight have a right to enjoy the best physical and mental health. We have a legal duty to protect them from harm and neglect, to make sure they feel safe and to offer support to parents and carers.
How our services are organised
Children’s social care services are divided into the following areas:
- Child Protection – this service works with children and families where a child protection conference has decided that a child or young person needs a child protection plan to keep them safe or to promote their welfare and development
- Early Help – this service is provided to children, young people and families who are struggling and feel in need of some additional support - these services are usually provided by other organisations who may be supported or paid by us
- Children in Care – this service supports children and young people living in the care of the local council. These children may be in foster care, in residential care or being prepared for adoption. In some cases they may live with their parents, other family members or with family friends. The service also supports young people who have left the care of the local council and are now learning to live independently.
- Children with Disabilities Team – this service provides assessments for families requiring support with children with a diagnosed disability. This service also includes our Short Breaks Programme, Beaulieu House (respite and residential children’s home for children with physical / learning disabilities and Beaulieu Outreach Service.
- Fostering services – this service recruits, trains and supports foster carers for the council’s in-house fostering service. They also assess and support private fostering arrangements.
- Adoption – this service area assesses and prepares those who wish to adopt. The service is involved in matching children needing adoption with adoptive parents. The service also provides post adoption support and therapeutic support for children who have been adopted and for members of their birth and adoptive families.