The need to seek advice must never delay any emergency action needed to protect a 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.
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
is available to discuss safeguarding concerns;
will manage any immediate actions required to ensure the individual at risk is safe from harm;
all practitioners must know who to contact in their agency for advice and they should not hesitate to discuss their concerns no matter how insignificant they may appear.
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 the designated safeguarding person would result in undue delay and thereby place someone at risk;
the designated safeguarding person has been contacted and they have not taken action and the practitioner thinks it is necessary;
the concern relates to the designated safeguarding person and there is no other appropriate alternative manager to contact.
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:
the responsibility to decide whether to make a report remains with the report-maker;
seeking advice does not of itself constitute a report;
it is the responsibility of the report-maker to make clear that they want to make a report;
all telephone reports must be followed up in writing within 1 working day.
The outcome of any initial discussion within the agency and/or with social services may be:
a report to social services regarding concerns that the child is at risk of harm;
a referral to social services that the child requires an assessment to consider if they have any care and support needs under Part 3 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014;
that the child is not at risk of harm, but consideration should be given to ways in which their needs could be met through early help provision either from the agency itself or other agencies within the community; Section 1 early help and prevention
-no further action is necessary other than to record concerns and outcomes of the 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:
The date, time and names of those who took part in the discussion;
The information-shared and the sources;
The rationale for the decision made, including decisions to take no further action;
What actions will be undertaken and by whom.
Any practitioner with concerns about a child must document their concerns - whether further action is or is not taken.