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Early Help guidance for professionals

Process for partner agencies /professionals when they have safeguarding concerns for families who are open to Early Help Family Support team

  • The professional with the concern needs to discuss their concern with their line manager / safeguarding lead as per their agency’s procedures.
  • If there is an immediate child protection concern, then they need to refer this to Children’s Social Care as per the Worcestershire Safeguarding procedures. The Worcestershire Family Front Door is telephone number: 01905 822666 or out of office hours emergency only 01905 768020. This must be a telephone call first and followed up with a written online social care referral using the Worcestershire Children First  Website: Children’s Social Care Referral Form
  • If a police response is needed as a child is in immediate danger 999 must be called.

Where the concern is not an immediate child protection e.g. an escalation of concerns or events or a heightened situation occurring:

  • Again, this should be discussed with your line manager / safeguarding lead and a professional conversation with the Early Help Team leader who has line management responsibilities for the case. This should not be the allocated Family Support Worker as it is a safeguarding concern or escalating risk. The following possible outcomes should be discussed:

Where Level 4 needs are identified:

  1. You proceed to make a children's social care referral as above. This will remain your responsibility as you have the new information that has identified increased risk and will be someone the social work team will want to discuss the referral with.
  2. Await decision on your referral and discuss any concerns with the Family Front Door who will make a decision on the level of need and next steps.

The case remains open to Early Help at level 3 needs:

  1. Further work and enquiries are made through the Early Help work to establish the context of the concerns and what else we can do as partnership to address the worries and concerns or engage other professionals in working with the family. Thinking whole family and solution focused in our help and support to families but ensuring we have sight of the impact upon the children and the level of risk.
  2. An Early Help multi agency meeting is held with parents and professionals within three working days to address new concerns and revise the Early Help plan to respond to the needs and challenges of the family. Set clear review dates and what we hope to see change in realistic timescales. There maybe a mixture of short term and longer-term objectives or outcomes. This meeting will be led and co-ordinated by the WCF Early Help Family Support Team and if needed chaired by an Early Help Team Leader or Team co-Ordinator.

The Worcestershire safeguarding partnership escalation procedure should be followed if there is professional disagreement, but this must not delay responding to any safeguarding concern for
a child or adult.