What to do if you are concerned about a child?
Early Help Assessment
If you suspect child abuse:
- Do listen to the child
- Do take what the child says seriously
- Do act quickly
- Do share your worries with Children’s Social Care, the police or the NSPCC – they are there to help you
- Do continue to offer support to the child
- Don’t delay
- Don’t probe or push the child for explanations
- Don’t assume that someone else knows and will help the child. You must act
- Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns, the child may need urgent protection and help.
You can find out more about early help and safeguarding children at these related websites:
The Early Help Assessment (EHA) aims to capture all of an unborn baby / child and their family’s needs at the earliest opportunity. It is a shared tool which can be used by all agencies in Somerset who are delivering early help in a coordinated way so that they understand and respond to the needs of unborn babies / children and their families.
You can use the Effective Support for Children and Families in Somerset to better understand the needs of unborn babies / children and their families and how they can be met.
Complex Early Help / Level 3 (in need of support)
If there is a clear rationale for targeted provision for children with multiple issues or complex needs where a coordinated multi agency response is needed you can request the involvement and support of the Family Intervention Services (FIS), to support you and the rest of the Team Around the Family working with the unborn baby /child and their family. You must complete the Early Help Assessment (EHA) and child protection form.
If you require any advice or support with completing the Early Help Assessment (EHA) and Child Protection form, please contact:
The Early Help Advice Hub:
Tel: 01823 355803
To access the Early Help Assessment (EHA) and Child Protection form (used for Early help assessments, referral to early help services and child protection referrals) please visit the Professional Choices website.
Child Protection / Acute /Level 4 (in need of protection)
If you are worried about a child or young person who could be in immediate danger please contact:
- Children’s Social Care on 0300 123 2224. Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.
- or the police. In an emergency always contact the police by dialling 999.
If you have identified a child protection / Level 4 concern about an unborn baby / child and their family, whereby there is no immediate danger but there is clear rationale for statutory intervention of Children Social Care , please complete the following referral form: Early Help Assessment (EHA) and Child Protection form and send it securely to SDInputters@somerset.gov.uk
- The Early Help Assessment (EHA) and Child Protection form is used for Early Help Assessments, referrals to multiple early help services, referral to Family Intervention Service for complex early help / Level 3 and referral to statutory services provided by children social care for child protection / Level 4.
- You can use the Effective support for children and families guidance to verify if a child protection referral is required.
- If you are not sure if your concerns meet the child protection / Level 4 referral threshold, you can contact the GP and safeguarding children leads consultation line to discuss your concerns: 0300 123 3078.
- Seeking consent for a child protection/level 4 referral is good practice, but not essential if you have evidenced significant harm in your referral, and why you think level 4 criteria has been met.
Out of Hours Children’s Social Care (CSC)
If you would like to speak to a social worker outside of office hours (6pm to 8am, Monday to Friday, weekends and bank holidays) please phone the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 0300 123 23 27