No, a social worker has no rights or authority to enter your property. It is a good
idea to let them in if they are making visits to your children, as under the Children
Act 1989 they have the right to take emergency measures if they cannot see a child
about whom they have concerns.
2. Will I break the law if I record interactions with social workers?
No, you are entitled to record your interactions. Recording by a person for their
own use, does not breach any criminal or civil legislation and in fact such is specifically
exempted from the Data Protection Act, (as opposed to an organisation which is required
to follow the act).
3. I have just seen the social workers report on our family – it is full of lies
and inaccuracies what can I do?
Write a response to the report. Highlight the inaccuracies and lies and counter them
with any evidence you have. Recordings can be very handy here as you can make reference
to them and that you are happy to provide copies. Combine your responses into a complaint
letter addressed to the Director of Children's Services/Senior Social Worker, the
social worker who wrote the report and head the letter LEVEL 1 Complaint Section
26– Children's Act 1989. If the report is for a forthcoming conference or meeting
send it to the Chair of the meeting and ask for it to be distributed to all attendees.
You can also report the social worker to the HCPC (UK) / CORU (Ireland) regarding
their fitness to practice.
4. How do I find out what information social services have about my family?
Make a subject access request under section 7 (UK) Sections 4 and 8 (Ireland) of
the Data Protection Act utilisng a simple template letter which we can email to you
- just contact us. They have 40 days (that's days, not working days) to send you
5. The social worker says I need a solicitor and has given me a list should I just
choose one off the list?
The short answer is no. The solicitors on the Local Authority list are usually also
used by the Local Authority on lucrative contracts, earning far more representing
the local authority than the minimal sums they get from legal aid representing you.
It is not in their interests to 'upset' the local Authority by fighting hard for
parents. They could lose their contract. Choose a solicitor out of the area if you
do choose to use one.
6. I am pregnant and I fear that my baby will be taken at birth, should I flee the
We don't encourage anyone to flee but if you are considering this an option then
see our sections on Pregnancy and Fight or Flight.
7. Am I allowed to talk to people about my case?
Yes you are - the Children's Act 2004 gives you the right to do so as long as you
do not reveal the child's identity etc to the press/media or to the public at large.
8. Am I entitled to Legal Aid?
Legal Aid is available but not until the Local Authority/Child and Family Agency
(Ireland) actually begin Child Care Proceedings. Anything outside of this will have
to be paid for by the parents.
9. Can your Lay Advocates help on a private law case – I am having issues with my
ex and contact with my daughter?
Yes our lay advocates are experienced in private law cases from access issues to
Brussels II/Hague Convention cases.