What should I do if I am worried about a child or young person?
If you are ever concerned that a child is in immediate danger please call the police on 999
Safeguarding children and young people is the responsibility of everyone. If you are a professional, young person, carer, family member or a member of the public and you are worried about a child or young person, who has or may be likely to suffer significant harm, you can contact the Safeguarding and Partnership Hub (SaPH), the front door to Children’s Social Care.
Members of the Public
If you are a young person, family member, carer, or member of the public and you want to discuss a child that you are worried about, or make a self-referral you can contact the Safeguarding and Partnership Hub (SaPH) during office hours on (01482) 395500 - Choose 'Option 1' and a social worker will be able to talk through your worries with you and discuss what happens next.
If you are a professional and you are worried about a child or young person who has or may be likely to suffer significant harm in office hours, you can contact the Safeguarding and Partnership Hub (SaPH) on (01482) 395500.
If the response needed is not immediate and the child is not at immediate risk of harm you should complete a request for service form and e-mail the form to:
and a social worker will review your request for service and confirm the outcome with you.
If an immediate response is needed, with the child being at immediate risk of harm you will need to telephone (01482) 395500 and choose option 2 to talk to a social worker to discuss your concerns.
If you do not have an immediate worry about a child or young person and you are uncertain around the level of need under the Effective Support Windscreen or just need advice, you can contact the Safeguarding and Partnership Hub (SaPH) for a consultation with a social worker by calling (01482) 395500 choosing option 2 followed by the social work consultation line option.
Monday to Thursday 8:30am - 5pm
Friday 8:30am - 4.30pm
Outside of office hours:
Children's Emergency Duty Team (CEDT):
If you have a worry about a child outside of office hours, the Children’s Emergency duty Team (CEDT) operates to respond to emergency situations from 5pm until 8:30am Monday to Thursday and 4.30pm until 8:30am on a Friday and at weekends and bank holidays. CEDT responds to emergency situations that are unable to wait until the next working day.
These will relate to children’s safeguarding, potential placement, or family breakdowns and any other Children’s Services statutory work. Your call will be taken by a Lifeline operator.
The social worker will then make the decision if an intervention/additional information is needed that evening, or the situation can wait until the following morning when a children’s social work team or the Safeguarding and Partnership Hub (SaPH) will follow-up with the person sharing the information the following day.
You can contact the Children’s Emergency Duty Team on:
Tel: (01482) 393939
What will happen when I contact the Safeguarding and Partnership Hub (SaPH)?
To help make the right decision, the social worker may need to gather and share information with other services including:
- The Police
- Education services
- Health service.
If a social work response is required
If there is a concern that a child or young person has been harmed or is at risk of significant harm, the Safeguarding and Partnership Hub (SaPH) social worker will share the information with one of the local social work teams to consider what actions and child safeguarding arrangements need to be put in place.
If a social work response is not required from a locality social work team
The Safeguarding and Partnership Hub (SaPH) social worker will confirm the outcome of your contact and what happens next, offer advice or signpost you to the most relevant service. This could be:
- Early Help
- sources of self-help.
Can information be shared without my permission?
The Safeguarding and Partnership Hub (SaPH) would normally need parental consent to share information with other services, however that information may be shared without parental consent if:
- someone is being harmed or may be at risk of harm, or
- the Information may help to stop or solve a crime.
If a professional is contacting the Safeguarding and Partnership Hub (SaPH), they should have discussed their worries with the family in the first instance and made them aware of their concerns, seeking the families consent to information share, ensuring the family are clear about why the information is being shared and for what purpose.
The only exception is if the professional is concerned that seeking consent from the family may increase the risk of harm to the child. If you are a professional and are unsure if seeking consent will place the child at risk of further harm, you can always contact the Safeguarding and Partnership Hub (SaPH) and have a social work consultation to discuss your concerns.
Guidance for all practitioners in working together to support families and safeguard children can be found in the documents: