Back to The duty to report a child at risk of abuse, neglect and/ or harm

Seeking advice

The need to seek advice must never delay any emergency action needed to protect a child.

If unsure the concern is a risk of harm to the child

Any practitioner who is hesitant or is unsure as to whether a child is at risk of harm, should seek advice, as outlined below, rather than wait for further evidence to confirm or refute these concerns.

Seeking agency advice

Always try and seek advice from within your own agency unless this would mean undue delay and place an individual at risk

The designated safeguarding person (DSP) is the identified person within the

organisation who:

Whilst every effort should be made to seek advice from the designated safeguarding person a practitioner may need to contact social services directly, particularly where:

Contacting social services for support/guidance

The need to seek advice must never delay any emergency action needed to protect a child believed to be at risk of harm.

If, after seeking advice in the practitioner agency, there is uncertainty as to whether to report concerns, these should be discussed with a member of staff from social services who will advise as to what to do next.

When seeking advice from social services. It is important to recognise:

Outcomes of agency and social services initial discussions

The outcome of any initial discussion within the agency and/or with social services may be:

Recording initial discussions

Any discussion about the welfare of a child at risk of harm - both those that occurred within the agency and those with social services - must be recorded in writing. The recording must include:

Any practitioner with concerns about a child must document their concerns - whether further action is or is not taken.