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Reporting Concerns - Professionals

Scope of this chapter

You should make sure that you are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect, that you question the behaviour of children and parents/carers and don’t necessarily take what you are told at face value. You should make sure you know where to turn to if you need to ask for help, and that you refer to Cumberland Safeguarding Hub or Westmorland and Furness Safeguarding Hub or to the Police, if you suspect that a child is at risk of harm.

If you think a child is in immediate danger don't delay – call the Police on 999.

You should discuss your concerns with your manager, a named or designated professional or a designated member of staff. For example, for schools’ staff (both teaching and non-teaching), concerns should be reported via the schools’ or colleges’ designated safeguarding lead. The safeguarding lead will usually decide on the necessary action to take.

If you are a professional with a serious concern about a child or young person that needs protection contact the Cumberland Safeguarding Hub or Westmorland and Furness Safeguarding Hub.

Ask yourself - Does the child need an immediate child protection response?

If so continue to report your concern to the Cumberland Safeguarding Hub or Westmorland and Furness Safeguarding Hub. They are a team of social workers, Police and health workers who will give you advice or take action if required.

Call the Hub on 0333 240 1727.

NB - In the unlikely event that this number is unavailable due to a fault please call 01768 895019. This should only be used in exceptional circumstances.

Outside office hours - The Emergency Duty Team (EDT) operates an out of hours service. The Emergency Duty Team is one social worker covering the whole county. The EDT service is an emergency only response with the social worker available to provide a response where the needs of the child indicate this.

Early Help is the support that can be provided for a child, young person or family who may have additional needs that cannot be met by universal provision and there is perceived to be no risk of significant harm. An Early Help Assessment can be carried out with any child or young person from pre-birth up to age 18 (up to the age of 25 if the young person has a learning difficulty or disability.

REMEMBER: Early Help can be put in place without contact with the Cumberland Safeguarding Hub or Westmorland and Furness Safeguarding Hub.

See: Cumbria Multi-Agency Thresholds Guidance and the supporting document Cumbria Understanding The Level of Need and Practice Response which can be used alongside the Threshold Guidance

All professionals will be expected to complete a single contact form for any contact to the Safeguarding Hub. The online form requires mandatory fields to be completed before you can submit your contact.

Please ensure you have all relevant details to hand before you start to complete the form. Please also note that the form will time out after one hour of inactivity and any information will be lost.

Complete the online contact form at Cumberland Safeguarding Hub or Westmorland and Furness Safeguarding Hub Single Contact Form.

Please see the Information Sharing Protocol for good practice notes and details for sharing confidential information.

Please see the relevant Safeguarding Practice Guidance in the SCP Online Procedures Manual.

Please refer to the Multi-Agency Thresholds Guidance to be clear about the thresholds for access to services which support the actions needed to improve the outcomes for children.

The Thresholds Guidance will help with:

  • Better understanding of how to respond to lower levels of need;
  • Early identification of vulnerability and better support to prevent escalation;
  • Better understanding of when to refer to the Safeguarding Hub;
  • Improved decision making based on multi-Agency information sharing and Early Help knowledge of family strengths and vulnerabilities.

See: Cumbria Multi-Agency Thresholds Guidance and the supporting document Cumbria Understanding The Level of Need and Practice Response which can be used alongside the Threshold Guidance

Last Updated: February 5, 2024

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