HL Deb 09 December 1997 vol 584 c2WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

To whom social workers are ultimately responsible in child protection cases.

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington)

Local authorities have a general duty under the Children Act 1989 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need in their area as well as a specific duty to investigate where they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. Social workers are employed by authorities to make enquiries and work with children and their families, together with other child protection agencies such as the Police and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, to enable them to perform these functions.