3.1 Duty to Refer
Last updated 12/11/2018
When there are concerns that a child is suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm, then a referral must be made immediately. The greater the level of perceived risk, the more urgent the action should be. The suspicion or allegation which leads to the referral may be based on information which comes from different sources. It may arise in the context of an Early Help Assessment. It may come from a member of the public, the child concerned, another child, a family member or professional staff. It may relate to a single incident or an accumulation of lower level concerns.
The information may also relate to harm caused by another child, in which case both children, i.e. the suspected perpetrator and the victim, must be referred - see also Children who Sexually Harm Procedure (Section 20).
The suspicion or allegation may relate to a parent, professional, volunteer or anyone caring for or working with the child - if so, see also Managing Allegations against Staff, Carers and Volunteers (Section 15).
If the child has a social worker, if a professional has any additional concerns then they must share those concerns directly to the allocated social worker, (in the absence of the allocated social worker, share the concerns with the duty officer or manager).
Advice must always be sought initially from the Designated Safeguarding Lead in the referrer’s own agency before contacting MASH or the allocated worker.
WHEN IN DOUBT, consult with Sefton Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Tel. 0151 934 4481 or if out of hours contact the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) Tel. 0151 934 3555