Somerset Safeguarding Children Board recognises the importance of keeping designated leads up to date with the latest legislation,knowledge and best practice available in child protection.
With this in mind, this page has been created to provide a central resource for designated safeguarding leads.
The Consultation Line for Organisation Safeguarding Leads (OSLs) and GPs is now available.
Safeguarding leads and GPs should phone the consultation line when they are unsure whether or not to make a referral to Children’s Social Care (see definition of Level 4 of the Effective Support for Children and Families document).
This could be because you are unsure whether it meets the Children’s Social Care threshold for a statutory Children and Families assessment, although you are clear about the situation you are dealing with, or you want to discuss your analysis/understanding with an experienced child protection social worker.
|Q1||Why has the consultation line|
been set up?
|There are currently over 2000 calls/contacts each month (Jan 16) which do not meet a Childrens Social Care threshold. The consultation line has been put in place to give Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) the opportunity to discuss concerns with a qualified Social Worker when they are unsure if a case should be referred to Childrens Social Care (Level 4).|
|Q2||Who can use the consultation line?||This new service is for DSLs only. In relation to children and families not already open to Childrens Social Care.|
|Q3||When should I contact the consultation line?||DSLs should phone the consultation line when they are unsure whether or not to make a referral to Childrens Social Care (See definition of Level 4 of the Thresholds document). This could be because you are unsure whether it meets the threshold for a Children and Families assessment, although you are clear on the situation you are dealing with, or you want to discuss your analysis/understanding with a qualified, experienced child protection social worker.|
|Q4||What do I do if I cant get through?||There is only 1 line available so at times call volumes may be high. If this is the case, please try again later. If you are concerned that the child may be at risk of, or may be suffering significant harm, DONT DELAY; follow the normal procedures and contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224|
|Q5||When will the line be open?||The consultation line will be open from 9.00am to 4.00 pm Monday to Friday.|
|Q6||Who will be staffing the consultation line?||Qualified child protection Social workers from the First Response Team who are part of Childrens Social Care.|
|Q7||Will personal details of the|
child and/or family be recorded?
|No, the children being discussed will remain anonymous and personal details will not be recorded. However, if the consulting social worker establishes that the child may be at risk of, or may be suffering significant harm, the call will be transferred to Somerset Direct who will take appropriate details.|
|Q8||If a child is at risk and meets|
the Level 4 threshold, should I contact the consultation line?
|No. If you are confident that the child may be at risk of, or may be suffering significant harm you should contact Somerset Direct immediately on 0300 123 2224.|
|Q9||If the consulting social worker|
establishes the issue meets the childrens social care threshold, will I need to ring Somerset Direct separately?
|No, in this scenario the social worker will transfer the call to Somerset Direct so that a referral can be taken. It is important for DSLs to understand that the consultation line is not to be used as a short cut to Childrens Social Care.|
|Q10||Will the calls be recorded?||No, calls will not be recorded because this is an advice and guidance line only.|
Consultation Line for Safeguarding Leads and GPs