HOW TO MAKE A REFERRAL TO WORCESTERSHIRE CHILDREN‟S
SERVICES SOCIAL CARE ACCESS CENTRE
*BY PHONE - PUBLIC ONLY - 0845 607 2000
BY FAX - 01905 728744
BY E-MAIL – firstname.lastname@example.org
BY POST - Social Care ACCT, PO BOX 585, Worcester, WR4 9AD
BY MINICOM - 01905 768052
*THE TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR PROFESSIONALS IS NOT FOR
PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION OR USE - IF YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL AND
DO NOT HAVE THE PROFESSIONALS‟ NUMBER, PLEASE E-MAIL
FROM YOUR PLACE OF WORK, OR RING THE PUBLIC NUMBER. OUR
REFERRAL & ADVICE OFFICERS WILL NEED TO RING YOU BACK
WITH THE PROFESSIONALS‟ NUMBER
CONTACTING THE ACCESS CENTRE CHILDREN'S TEAM
Parents, other people with parental responsibility, or children and young people
themselves, can contact the Access Centre Children's Team for advice or support, or to
refer themselves for a Social Care Service.
Members of the public who have concerns about a child may also ring for advice or to
pass on information if there are concerns about a child.
Professionals acting on behalf of children and their families can ring the Access Centre
Children's Team for advice, or signposting to other services, without this being a 'referral'
for Social Care Services.
Professionals should consider the following guidance when considering making a
referral for a Social Care Service, alongside guidance in 'Working Together', Chapter 5
and the Every Child Matters - Information-Sharing Practitioners‟ Guide.
WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER MAKING A REFERRAL ABOUT?
Children who may be at risk of, or suffering actual significant harm
The Local Authority has a duty to make enquiries where a child may be suffering significant
You do not need consent to notify the Local Authority of a child(ren) at risk of likely or
actual significant harm. Please follow Inter-Agency Child Protection Procedures for
Safeguarding Children www.worcestershiresafeguarding.org.uk
However, it is helpful to explain to the child/parents why you are making a referral in most cases.
In some circumstances, it is not appropriate even to inform the parent(s) or child that you are
notifying the Local Authority:
a) If this might place the child or another person at risk of serious harm; or
b) If it might interfere with a child protection enquiry or criminal investigation
Other children who may be „in need‟
A child is ‘in need’ when their welfare may be significantly impaired if they do not receive
services or support, or they have a disability - Please refer to the guidance on thresholds and
the leaflet „Children in Need‟
When you are referring a child who may be “in need” you must obtain the consent of a
person with parental responsibility, and/or the young person if they are of sufficient age
and understanding, before sharing their personal information with us.
Our Referral & Advice Officers and/or the Professional Support Manager/Senior Social Worker
are happy to discuss any situation if you are unsure whether you need consent or whether the
threshold for assessment is met.
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) may be more helpful in engaging and supporting a
family where a child may have additional needs, especially if further assessment of needs is
required or co-ordination of services. The Access Centre Children's Team are happy to discuss
this with you, or alternatively, you can telephone your local CAF Co-Ordinator
Before making a referral, if you have concerns about the welfare of a child there should
always be an opportunity for you to discuss them with colleagues, your Manager,
designated or name professionals or other agencies.
WHEN SHOULD I MAKE A REFERRAL? :
1. To refer concerns for a child in need of safeguarding who may be suffering significant
harm - consent is not required for these referrals
2. To request on behalf of a child and their family, an assessment for services if the child is in
need and their welfare may be significantly impaired without services or they have a
disability - for these referrals consent is a legal requirement from a person with
parental responsibility (PR) and/or of the young person themselves
3. To request information held by Social Care about a child - some professionals have a
statutory reason for these requests. For other information requests the consent is a legal
requirement from a person with PR and/or the young person themselves
4. To request advice and guidance, or signposting to other services - this can be requested
on an anonymised basis if consent has not yet been obtained, or if the referrer is unsure if
this is a safeguarding issue
HOW DO I MAKE A REFERRAL?
Request for Information
To confirm a professional’s right to be given information, an Information Request Form should be
completed and e-mailed, faxed or posted to the Access Centre. Brief reasons for the request
should be given also.
Appendix 2 - Information Request
Making a referral
Referrals can be made by telephone, fax, e-mail or letter. However, if a referral is taken by
telephone, this must be followed up in writing by professional referrers within 48 hours (Working
Together to Safeguard Children 2010).
Appendix 1- Referral Form
If completing a paper version you may need additional pages- an e-version is preferable
Please take the time to complete the Referral Form either with the family, or on their behalf,
filling in as much as you can.
This avoids the need for the Referral & Advice Officer to use valuable telephone time collecting
this information from you or others and enables swift assessment, particularly where there are
concerns about significant harm or the child’s welfare being impaired.
It significantly aids our decision-making to have as much background information about the
child, their family, your concerns and what the family/you think is needed. We can decide
whether to pass on a referral to one of our teams or signpost you and the family to other, more
suitable services, based on all relevant information.
If you already have supporting information about the child and their family in another format
(e.g., CAF, ASSET, ISP), please send this to us. Attach this with your Referral Form.
If the situation is urgent, background information can be taken over the telephone.
If you need to make a telephone referral please be prepared with the following information to
pass on to the Referral & Advice Officer:
- Confirmation of consent/safeguarding issue
- Personal details of the child and their family
- Name; DOB; address; gender; ethnicity; any disability/special needs; siblings; who has
PR; extended family
WHO are you concerned about?
is aware of your concerns, e.g., parents, relatives or other
has given you consent, if required(inc. any signature on section 5 or
WHAT are the facts, i.e., attendance, punctuality, appearance. How often is
the child like this?
behavioural indicators are there?
do you know of the history?
other services have been tried before?
outcomes do you think are needed?
WHEN did any incident(s) occur (times & dates)?
did any behaviour start/change?
did you know about this information?
WHERE did the incident(s) happen?
is the child/their parent(s)/carers now?
is anyone else involved in the incident(s)?
If the parent/carer/young person is willing for us to contact them by telephone directly for
more details please give us an up-to-date telephone number with your referral.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I MAKE A REFERRAL?
The Access Centre Children's Team will acknowledge receipt of any written referral within
one day of receipt.
The Referral & Advice Officer may contact you or the parent/carer for more information or
clarification or to ask for supporting information to be completed if you have additional
If they are able to, the Referral & Advice Officer will give you advice or signpost you to
other services that can help
If they need a professional Social Care decision the Referral & Advice Officer will pass on
your information to either the Professional Support Manager or the Senior Social Worker -
both of whom are experienced and qualified Social Workers.
The Professional Support Manager/Senior Social Worker will decide whether this meets
the threshold for assessment and/or child protection enquiries based on the information
available to them
If the threshold is met, this will be passed to one of our three local Duty & Assessment
Teams (DAT NW, NE or South) and you will be informed of this. The Referral & Advice
Officer will clarify with you whether you or Social Care inform the family, dependent on the
The DAT will then either hold a strategy discussion to consider child protection enquiries or
allocate to a worker to undertake an initial assessment. The DAT should keep you
informed as the referrer
If the threshold for initial assessment/child protection enquiries is not met, the Referral &
Advice Officer will contact you to explain why and discuss possible alternative support or
You may want to speak with one of the qualified Social Care professionals to discuss the
reasons for the decision and should ask to do this if you are uncertain as to why a decision
has been made, or feel your concerns have not been fully understood.
Requests for information will be responded to by the Professional Support Manager/Senior
If you are telephoning for advice or information, the Referral & Advice Officer will clarify
whether the information shared is being recorded as a contact by the Access Centre.
Anonymised information cannot be recorded against a child's record and so you may be
asked to keep a record of the advice given yourself. All telephone calls to the Access
Centre are recorded for monitoring and quality assurance purposes.
CAF Practitioner Toolkit
Worcestershire Safeguarding Children‟s Board - Pocket Guidance
Working Together to Safeguard Children
Every Child Matters - Information-Sharing Practitioners‟ Guide
Family Information Service
Local activities for young people
Tel: 01905 28051