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Professionals - Report a concern about a child's safety or welfare

If you are a professional, come into contact with children as part of your work, or as a volunteer, you have a statutory duty to keep children safe and therefore report any allegations or concerns about the welfare and safety of a child. It may be that you have identified that a child or young person needs a service, help or support.

If you are concerned that a child is being harmed in some way, or is at risk of being harmed, any concerns should be reported following the St Helens Local Safeguarding Children Procedures and your organisation's safeguarding children procedures.

What is a contact?

A contact is information sent to Children's Social Care requesting services for a child or young person. The information is normally received by a Contact Cares advisor or directly by the MASH team. It is recorded electronically and sent to a manager to make a decision about what should happen next.

What is a referral?

Where a manager decides further information and action is required the contact will progress to a 'referral'. An assessment must then be undertaken before a service can be provided. The assessment establishes whether the child is in need of social care services.

What to do if you are not sure whether to make a contact or referral

  • Talk to the designated professional within your agency or your line manager about your concerns
  • Telephone the MASH team through Contact Cares (01744) 676767 and ask for the duty social worker