Child safeguarding procedures – for professionals

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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)

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Other support available

Early Help support

Before making a referral, you should consider what support your agency can provide and whether Early Help support is appropriate. Please contact 01926 414144 if you need to find out if Early Help is the right option.

Early Help Single Assessments

An Early Help Single Assessment will help identify where a family needs help. It is voluntary, and the family must consent to any support given.

Find out more about Early Help Single Assessments and the training available to complete an assessment.

If there is an Early Help Single Assessment already in place, please liaise with your Early Help officer in the community. Call 01926 414147 to find your local officer.

Working with the family

The Family Information Service (FIS) may be able to help if a child or family needs more help then you can offer. They can provide information on the range of services available in your area.

More information about the support FIS can offer.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) support at nursery, school or college

Find out what SEN support is available at nurseries, schools and colleges.

Getting a social care or carer’s assessment

Most children can be supported through Early Help. Some children may also require a social care assessment. Please call 01926 414144 to request a social care assessment.

If you are a carer you can request a carer’s assessment to see what support is available to you.

Find out what support is available for carers.

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If you have a concern

Urgent concerns

If you have an urgent child safeguarding concern call:

01926 414144

Lines are open from:

  • Monday to Thursday: 8:30am – 5:30pm
  • Friday: 8:30am – 5:00pm

You will then need to complete and return a Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) (DOCX, 2.13 MB) and send it to

Emergency contact

If you think that a child is at immediate risk, contact the police immediately on:


Out of hours

Please contact the Emergency Duty Team if you have an emergency outside of usual office hours:

01926 886 922

Non urgent concerns

If you have a non urgent child protection concern you will need to complete the Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) (DOCX, 2.13 MB) and send it to

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Concerns about a person in a Position of Trust

A person in a Position of Trust (PoT) is any adult who works with children. This includes paid staff and volunteers.

You will need to refer to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) if you think a someone in a PoT has:

  • behaved in a way that has/may have harmed a child
  • committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  • behaved in a way that indicates they may be at risk of harming a child

To refer to the LADO, you will need to complete a Postion of Trust MARF (DOCX, 1.53 MB) and sent it to

For any other advice on a concern with a PoT please call:

01926 743 433

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Safeguarding consultation

You should seek support within your own agency in the first instance. You could speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or a Safeguarding Nurse.

For any additional advice you can arrange a consultation with a children’s social care professional. Please call 01926 414144.

You can’t remain anonymous when seeking advice; children discussed should be identified to ensure the correct advice is given.

The consultation will be recorded against the child’s details. You will need to follow the information guidelines for your organisation.

You will need to discuss any concerns with the parents/guardians. We will not contact the family.

You don’t have to follow the advice offered. However, the concern will be escalated if safeguarding activity is required and the advice is not followed.

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After making a referral

You will receive written confirmation within 24 hours of submitting the MARF form. If you have not heard back in 2 working days please contact 01926 414144.

When you have received confirmation you should inform the family of the referral.

We will then:

  • assess the referral
  • review historical information
  • discuss and assess the risks and needs of the child
  • speak to the parent/carer – unless there is a risk to the child
  • decide what action to take

You will receive details of the outcome within 2 days. This may be:

  • no action needed
  • support from Universal or Early Help services – this could be an Early Help assessment
  • a social care assessment

A social care assessment will involve the child’s family, and usually take 10 days to complete. In some cases, it may take up to 35 days to complete.

You may be involved in the plan to support the family – along with other agencies.

Keep a record of your referral, the confirmation of receipt and any action that you take. Inform your safeguarding lead of the outcome of your referral.

If you disagree with the outcome, you will need to follow the escalation process.

Warwickshire Safeguarding Children’s Board escalation process (DOCX, 1.03 MB)

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Child safeguarding procedures – for professionals was last updated on November 27, 2018.