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Information and advice for young people

If you are being hurt, treated in a way that makes you feel scared or unsafe, or you feel very alone or unhappy, please tell someone about it so they can try to help you.

Talk to someone you can trust, like a teacher or a nurse at your school. They will listen to you and support you, and talk through what can be done to help sort things out.

Remember that you can ring Childline anytime on 0800 1111

How children are protected from harm in Bedford

If a baby, child or young person has been deliberately harmed or it is believed they may be harmed in the future, the law says that the local authority (Bedford Borough Council) has to find out what has happened so that children can be kept safe.

A social worker, sometimes together with a police officer, will visit and talk to everyone in the family. The social worker will talk to all children who are old enough to find out how they feel and what worries them.

If there are a lot of concerns a meeting called a Child Protection Conference will be arranged. People who know the child and their family, for example a teacher, a doctor or a health visitor, will be invited to attend this, together with parents, their partners, and the children.

The conference will talk about what has happened and what can be done to help. If necessary a plan will be agreed of all the things people should do to help the child and the family - this is called a Child Protection Plan. Every child who has a child protection plan has a social worker who will see the child regularly to talk about everything that is happening.

What is a Child Protection Conference?

A Child Protection Conference is a meeting arranged by Children's Social Care if people are worried about your safety or there are concerns about how you are being treated by the people caring for you.

The law says social services must make sure that children are safe. If it is not safe for a child to continue to live at home the social worker will see if the child can stay with another member of the family. If that is not possible the social worker will arrange for the child to live with a foster carer or in a children's residential home.

Legal advice

Legal advice for children and young people is available free from the Children's Legal Centre. The freephone number is 08088 020 008.