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Before making a referral

Your safeguarding concerns may not always need a contact. 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 spectrum descriptors to find the appropriate service before making contact. There are services are available to help meet the child or young person’s needs

Universal help

Children and young people have needs that are met within universal provision (such as through their GP or school). Parents or carers can decide how their children will access these services.

Extra help

Children and young people with extra needs that can be met through a single agency response and/or partnership working. 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.

Targeted help

Children and young people with complex needs may require a targeted, coordinated response with a lead professional.

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

If 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).

Specialist help

Children and young people with acute or severe needs or is a child in need of protection. This will usually include:

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

Spectrum of Support (PDF, 466 KB) - guidance for all practitioners in working together with children and families to provide early help and specialist support.

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