East Lothian Council

Emergency Social Work Service

Out-of-hours social work cover

The Emergency Social Work Service (ESWS) provides an emergency social work service for situations that can't wait until social work office hours.

In an emergency situation outside our social work office hours, please call (Freephone) 0800 731 6969.

(Our social work office hours are Mon-Thurs 9am-5pm and Fri 9am-4pm and we are closed on weekends and public holidays.)

The ESWS operates emergency out-of-hours cover on behalf of:

  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • Midlothian Council
  • East Lothian Council

It provides a support service to all social work units and carers in these councils when their managers or support liaison workers are not available.

Service priorities

The main priorities for the service are:

  • statutory assessments for child protection
  • detentions under the Mental Health Act
  • urgent community care/child care assessments

All phone calls are screened by experienced staff who will prioritise those referrals that need to be dealt with as emergencies and pass on other referrals to daytime services.

When necessary, ESWS staff will visit you:

  • in your own home
  • in hospital
  • at a police station
  • at another location

Times of operation

The ESWS operates Mon-Thurs 4.45pm-8.45am and Fri 3.45pm-8.45am.

During public holidays, the service is open 24 hours.

ESWS emergency number

Freephone: 0800 731 6969 

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.