Referral and Response - Child Protection Service
What we do
We work with children up to the age of 18 and their families. We aim to ensure all children are safe, and that their needs are met within the family wherever possible. We work alongside other agencies to provide social care, advice and support.
We carry out assessments to see if the child or family need any help, or if there are any risks which may affect a child’s welfare. As part of this process we ask children, their carers and families about their circumstances, wishes and feelings. We decide what needs to be done, focussing on the child's best interests, and work with families to create an action plan.
Referral and Response Team
Mary Woollett Centre
Tel: 01302 737777
What type of referrals should be made?
The team needs to hear about children and young people in Doncaster who appear to be at significant risk of harm. It should also be contacted about children or young people who have received support following an Early Help Assessment but it has not fully met their needs.
What should I do if I am concerned about a child or young person?
Safeguarding children is everybody’s responsibility. If you have concerns act on these rather than assume another agency is taking the lead.
If you are a professional please think about the best method of support for the child or young person. This will generally involve completing a Common Assessment Framework and/or a referral to the Referral and Response Team. If you are a professional please discuss your concerns with the parent or carer unless this will put you at risk of harm. This honesty will help them continue to trust and work with you and other professionals.
What is the Early Help Assessment?
The Early Help Assessment (EHA) is a form used to collect information to create a written record. It helps families and workers gather and understand information about the needs and strengths of the child, based on discussions with the child, their family and other agencies if needed.
When should I use the Early Help Assessment?
Having a written record means it can be shared with others as necessary, without the family having to go through repeated assessments. If you are a professional it is always useful to introduce this when you feel a child is in need of services and would benefit from a joined up, focused plan of work. You should never delay a referral in order to use this process, when you feel a child is at significant risk of harm. If you make a referral, you will be asked if you have completed an Early Help Assessment which has been shared with the family. This is to provide the basis for further work.
Ideally a family will know whether they have worked on an Early Help assessment but in reality, sometimes it is bewildering to be on the receiving end of professional services and they may not be sure. You can contact the Early Help Hub to find out whether there is already an Early Help Assessment in place for the child or young person and who the lead professional is/was, so you can contact them and build on their work.
If I am a professional, what is my role in making a referral to the Referral and Response team?
A comprehensive guide is provided on Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board web pages. It is crucially important that, as professionals, you know these procedures well, so that you are supported in fulfilling your role in keeping children safe.
As well as working to the above guidance when making the referral, we ask you to be prepared to continue working with the family and possibly be part of the social work visit. This will only ever be asked of you if the family agree to it and if it is felt it would contribute to a better quality specialist assessment. You will never be asked to be part of an enquiry visit to the family where there are clear Child Protection concerns.
What happens once a referral is made?
1. We will collect as much information as possible from you and check our records.
2. Unless it puts the child at risk, we will talk to their parents or carers and/or the child, about the concerns.
3. We will ask for their consent to speak to others. Only if there is reason to believe that a child is at significant risk, will consent be overridden or not requested. We will then talk to other agencies involved with the family.
4. If the child or young person is at significant risk of harm we aim to see them within 24 hours of receiving the referral.
5. Once the information is gathered, the Thresholds Protocol will be used to guide a decision about the best course of action to ensure the safety and well being of the child.
6. You will be told about the outcome and, if it will help the child, professional workers will be asked to work with the family.
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Get in touch…
If you have a question or would like to talk to someone to see how we can help you, please get in touch using the following method:
Call our friendly team with any queries or feedback on 01302 734100
Drop us an email anytime at General.Enquiries@dcstrust.co.uk