If a professional has a concern regarding a child or young person they must follow their agency's policy, including communicating with the safeguarding lead or a safeguarding professional within their organisation. If that is not possible Cambridgeshire children social care (CSC) offer advice to professionals about safeguarding concerns (0345 045 1362). However, the family should be aware you are seeking advice, it will be formally recorded and they may have to act on the information you share with them if they assess a child as being at immediate risk.
Data protection law applies when making a referral. The parents/carers of a child should be aware of the referral and the information it contains unless informing them places the child or anther at a substantial level of risk. Parental consent to share their information and to seek additional information from other agencies is required unless a child is at risk of serious harm. If parents/carers have not given consent you will need to provide evidence showing a risk of serious harm for CSC to be able to respond effectively.
As a result of the Learning arising from a Serious Case review in Cambridgeshire, the LSCB would like to remind practitioners about when it is and when it is not appropriate to inform families that they think a referral to Children’s Social Care is appropriate action to take for the child and family. Working Together 2013 re-affirmed the generic “Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers” (2008) which can be found here. This guidance supports appropriate practice in this area which in turn supports working in partnership with families. The full guidance can be found here: HM Government - advise for practitioners on information sharing.
Safeguarding children is the paramount responsibility. If you have evidence that a child is at risk of serious harm then act and inform CSC.
Children Social Care: 0345 045 1362; (Mon – Thurs) 8am – 5:30pm; (Friday) 8am – 4:30pm
Emergency Duty Team (Out of Hours): 01733 234724.
Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub: 0345 045 1362 MASH.C&F@cambridgeshire.gcsx.gov.uk
The Joint Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Safeguarding Referral form provides a standardised referral format for professionals and volunteers to use when they think a child a child or a young person is at risk of significant harm. Guidance on using the joint safeguarding form can be found here.
If a child is in immediate danger or left alone, you should contact the police or call an Ambulance (Call 999).
The police operator will need to take your name, address and details of what has happened. This will take time, but it is important to get all of the information from you so that we can send the appropriate resources to you if necessary.
The Risk Management Tool can be completed to aid your assessment.
If you need advice or information then you should contact the Safeguarding Lead in your organisation.
Cambridgeshire Police have launched a YouTube video aimed at encouraging people to make contact if they have concerns about the safety of a child.
You can contact the Helpline in a number of ways to get expert advice from one of their advisers; all are trained child protection officers.
Telephone: 0808 800 5000
Textphone: 0800 056 0566 (free for the deaf of hearing impaired)
Post: NSPCC Helpline, 42 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3NH