What should you do if you are concerned about a child?
If you have concerns that a child may be at risk of significant harm or has already been harmed or abused then you should make immediate telephone contact with the Haringey Single Point of Access (SPA) to take advice.
Please do not keep your worries to yourself. If the child is suffering actual significant harm at this point then you should telephone the police on 999. An example would be if a parent collected a child from school and was intoxicated or a parent was in the process of physically abusing a child.
How to make contact through the Single Point of Access
Everyone who comes into contact with children and young people has a role to play in identifying welfare and safeguarding concerns, and taking prompt action to share these concerns and relevant information with the local council.
This includes all professionals working with children and young people and their families, including teachers and nursery staff, children’s centres, doctors and health workers, housing support officers, police and probation officers, family support services, social workers and voluntary and community run organisations.
It also includes children and young people who have concerns over their own welfare or issues within their household, or parents/carers and wider family members and neighbours who identify that a child may need some help or additional support.
Please use the numbers below to contact staff for advice:
- Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5pm; Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm
Tel: 020 8489 4470
- Out of office hours, including weekends the Emergency Duty Team
Tel: 020 8489 0000
Please only use the out of hours number if you are calling outside normal working hours. When ringing out of hours your call will by logged by our call centre who will take brief details. An Emergency Duty social worker will ring you back. Do not use this number if a child needs immediate assistance from the Police or Ambulance Services. In these cases call 999.
During your phone call, if you are a professional working with children, you may be asked to complete a referral form within 48 hours, which should be emailed securely to firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the SPA form:
Where there is no immediate risk of significant harm or abuse to the child, but where you believe some early help and additional support may be needed, professionals should begin by completing a referral form and then emailing this to email@example.com
The SPA form provides a common template that collects information on:
- the child and their parent/carer
- the reasons for their contact
- current family and home situation
- your initial thoughts on the child and family’s strengths and resources, and their needs and worries
- services that you know are currently working with the child, including their GP and early years/school/further education or training provider
- the child and the parent/carer’s comment on the contact and their current circumstances
In the majority of cases, professionals should also obtain prior consent to make the contact from the child’s parent/carer.
Advice is always available during the day from professionals. The exception is when you believe that contacting the parent/carer could place a child or another adult at risk of significant harm. In these exceptional circumstances, or if consent is refused or cannot be obtained, you should still contact the Council and submit the rest of the SPA form as outlined above.
The case will still be reviewed to see whether escalation is needed and consent overridden and the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub will then undertake checks.
The MASH is a collection of agencies who are co-located and share information in order to identify risks to children and young people and to carry out confidential screening, research and referral of vulnerable children. These co-located agencies are the Police, Health, Housing, Probation as well as Children’s social care.
These agencies along with the SPA will work together to ensure vulnerable children and young people are identified and properly cared for and protected.
Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board
River Park House
London N22 8HQ
Tel 020 8489 1470/3145
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