What to do if you have concerns about a child

If you are concerned that a child is in an emergency situation you should contact the Police immediately on 999.

If you have a safeguarding concern that requires an immediate response from Children's Services (action from a social worker today) please telephone the Safeguarding Hub.  Please note that if your telephone call is about a child or family that is currently open to Children’s Social Care or the family have been open to Children’s Social Care in the last 3 months that your call or the information that you provide will be transferred to the local district office and no action will be undertaken by the Safeguarding Hub.

If your concern regarding a child or young person is not 'urgent' you will be advised to submit a single contact form. Please note that if the Single Contact Form submitted is about a child or family that is currently open to Children's Social Care or the family have been open to Children's Social Care in the last 3 months that the information you provide will be transferred to the local district office for consideration. The Safeguarding Hub will not undertake any review of this information. 


Cumbria Safeguarding Hub are currently working at reduced staffing levels following Government guidance. This may impact on response . If you require safeguarding advice, please speak to your safeguarding lead within your own organisation. 

The Safeguarding Hub's only purpose is to provide a 'front door' for Children and Young People's Social Work services in Cumbria, where children's needs cannot be met at an Early Help level.

Have you considered Early Help?

Early Help is the response made when a professional identifies needs with a child/family and works with another agency or agencies to meet those needs.

At this level of need an Early Help Assessment (EHA) should be completed with the child and family to identify needs and agreed desired outcomes.  A good assessment of needs and the establishment of achievable and measurable outcomes is an essential element of effective early help.  Any worker from a service that supports families can initiate this process.

REMEMBER: Early Help can be put in place without contact with the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub.  link to Early Help pages

Does this child need an immediate child protection response? If Not:

  • Could this child be helped by an 'Early Help' response?

  • Can I identify other professionals to contribute to an Early Help plan?

  • If so please seek support from your own service advisor, or the Early Help Team to work with the family to prevent escalation of need https://www.cumbriasafeguardingchildren.co.uk/earlyhelp.asp



Having considered the above, unless your contact is urgent (in which case please telephone 0333 240 1727), please complete the Single Contact form.  If you are a professional and your call is considered to be ‘urgent’ information will be taken over the phone but you will be requested to follow this up with the completion of a Single Contact Form.  Only matters considered to be ‘urgent’ will be taken over the telephone.

Completing the Single Contact Form will not take a long time but it is vital that we receive the key presenting information as clearly as possible, to aid decision making swiftly in the hub.  We deal with over 1000 contacts a month and so it is important we can see and understand key information quickly when a contact is made. 

We appreciate you may not be able to complete all sections of the form in full. If you wish to discuss your concerns first, please call the hub 0333 240 1727 

Single Contact Form

All professionals will be expected to complete a single contact form for any contact to the Safeguarding Hub. The online form requires mandatory fields to be completed before you can submit your contact.

Please ensure you have all relevant details to hand before you start to complete the form and also note that the form will time out after one hour of inactivity and any information will be lost.

Complete the online contact form at Cumbria Safeguarding Hub Single Contact Form.

Multi-Agency Thresholds Guidance

Please refer to the Multi-Agency Thresholds Guidance to be clear about the thresholds for access to services which support the actions needed to improve the outcomes for children.  Please read the thresholds guidance before making a contact to the Hub.

The Thresholds Guidance will help with:

  • Better understanding of how to respond to lower levels of need

  • Early identification of vulnerability and better support to prevent escalation

  • Better understanding of when to refer to the Safeguarding Hub

  • Improved decision making based on multi-agency information sharing and Early Help knowledge of family strengths and vulnerabilities

See Multi-agency Threshold Guidancethis external link will open in a new window

A printable version of the Threshold model is available in either a PDF or a JPEG version

For Risk Assessment toolkits please see the relevant Safeguarding Practice Guidance in the CSCP Online Procedures Manualthis external link will open in a new window.

What to do if you have a serious concern about a child or young person when the children’s services offices are closed?

(i.e Weekends, Bank Holidays, and between 5pm [4.30pm on Fridays] and 8am during the week).

If you believe them to be at risk of immediate danger dial 999 and speak to the Police.

If you believe there is a safeguarding concern which requires an urgent social work response out of hours  call the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 0333 240 1727.

If the duty social worker is already responding to a call there is a message facility allowing the caller to invite a call back by leaving their details and a brief summary of their concern.  Please be clear whether you require a call back to allow workers to priortise work.

During busy periods, calls will sometimes have to be prioritised according to needs and council thresholds.

The EDT is a small team of social workers who work shifts; this means that there are only one or two social workers on call to cover the entire county. We are therefore only able to respond to Emergency situations which cannot wait until the next working day. 

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