Safeguarder Service

The Safeguarder Service provides social work reports for the courts in private and public law applications where there is a dispute between parties relating to arrangement s for children. The service is staffed by experienced social work practitioners whose primary responsibility is to represent the interests of children and young people to the courts.

The service also offers mediation and conciliation services for parties who have made initial applications to court.

The service operates independently of any other States agency in delivering recommendations to the courts.  It is located within the Home Department for administration purposes.

The service has no investigative functions in matters of Child Protection and would refer in these matters to the appropriate agencies namely the Services for Children and Young People, Assessment and Intervention social work team and the Police Child Public Protection Unit.  The service does however provide reports in many cases involving Child Protection issues, particularly in Public Law matters and is responsible for contacting, commenting on and evaluating the involvement of all agencies in their recommendations to the courts.  This will nearly always include a review of records held by Police and Services for Children and Young People and contact with health professionals, social workers and their managers, teachers and heads of schools and family members and significant non-family carers. All safeguarder involvement will include visits to the named children and the representation of their wishes and feelings where they are of an appropriate age to express them.

All members of the public are advised that any information relating to the safety or well-being of any child conveyed to a safeguarder cannot be considered confidential and will be passed on to the relevant agencies by the service.