New group to tackle child safety in County Durham
Social workers are leading a new team, set up to make it easier for people living in County Durham to report concerns over the safety of children.
The Children's Initial Response Service was launched by Labour-led Durham County Council on Monday.
Anyone who contacts the service with concern for a child will speak directly with qualified social workers.
It is hoped this will allow staff to take action quicker on matters regarding child safety.
Jill McGregor, strategic manager for children and young people, said: "At the heart of this new service is the desire to provide a simple, quick pathway for people to report worries.
"It will give access to a qualified social worker who can make timely and well-assessed decisions regarding appropriate action.
"The new service represents our continued commitment to ensuring that children, young people and their families receive a timely and appropriate response when safeguarding concerns arise."
The service has replaced the former Social Care Direct service for children and the Initial Assessment Team for children.