Before making a referral

Your safeguarding concerns may not always need a referral. There could be services or professionals already involved with the child who can help.

You can discuss your concerns with your agency’s safeguarding lead or your line manager.

Please consider these thresholds to find the appropriate service before making a referral. There are services are available to help meet the child or young person’s needs:

  • Level 1 – universal needs
  • Level 2 – additional needs
  • Level 3 – complex needs
  • Level 4 – acute/severe needs

Level 1 – universal needs

Universal services are available to all children. Parents or carers can decide how their children will access these services. These services could include the child’s school or GP.

Level 2 – additional needs

Some children require additional support, for example through a School Learning Mentor or Health Visitor. Parents or carers can usually access these services themselves or can directly contact them through the relevant universal service. Some services can be accessed directly by the child or young person.

Children with additional needs are best supported by those already working with them, e.g. a children’s centre or school. The organisation will help arrange additional support from local partners as needed.

If there are a number of services involved it would be best to assess the child or young person’s need. This would be done through an Early Help Single Assessment with a lead professional.

Level 3 – complex and specialist needs

As well as having additional support in place some children and young people and their families have more complex needs. This would require enhanced or targeted services to support them. The child or young person’s needs would be identified from an Early Help Single Assessment, or in some cases a Social Work Single Assessment.

If enhanced or targeted services are required, a lead professional will co-ordinate the child’s plan. The plan is put in place to support the child/young person and parent(s).

Level 4 – acute/severe needs

A child with severe needs will require specialist/statutory support to keep them safe if there is a concern. This will usually include:

  • Children’s social care
  • Tier 3 and 4 – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) or
  • the Youth Offending Service

For more information on thresholds – Warwickshire thresholds for services (PDF, 822.94 KB)