Cumbria LSCB 5 Minute Briefing - Cumbria Safeguarding Hub Briefing

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lscb 5 min briefing

Cumbria Safeguarding Hub Briefing

Over the last 6 months, the rate of work coming into the Safeguarding Hub has continued to rise, but not with a corresponding rise in children and young people whose needs meet the threshold for Social Work.  For example, we have seen 6994 referrals to the Hub from 1 January 2017 to 31 May 2017.

In the January to May period last year, 65% of the work coming to the HUB did not meet the threshold for Social Care or required the hub to undertake a multi-agency assessment to establish the next steps. This year that has risen to 76%.

‘Where this is necessary, in Cumbria our expectation is that there is a focus on early help and prevention services in order to ensure that children, young people and their families receive the most appropriate support to meet their needs at the earliest opportunity.’ Cumbria Multi-agency Thresholds Guidance

When and why to contact the Hub

It is essential that, unless a referral is related to an urgent matter of child protection, professionals working with children should utilise the expertise of their organisation’s Designated Safeguarding Lead, as well as referring to the Threshold document, and, additional supporting tools (e.g. Graded Care profile, CSE and DA screening tools etc). This will then help determine if a referral to the Safeguarding Hub is required, or if the child can be supported through other ways such as Early Help.

‘Only a small proportion of children and young people in the county will need statutory intervention’.  Cumbria Multi-agency Thresholds Guidance

How to contact the Hub

If a child is in need of safeguarding support beyond Early Help, the concerns should be submitted to the Hub on a Single Contact Form (or STRATA), with consent of the parent. The form has been much improved since January this year, and can be easily access on the LSCB website

Phoning into the Hub for non-urgent cases simply creates a backlog and not only can cause a delay for urgent referrals to be responded.

Due to the volume of calls being received about non urgent cases, only urgent phone referrals will be responded to from 4.30pm Mon-Thursday and 4p.m on Friday, with callers for non-urgent matters being required to call back the next working day.

‘Statutory intervention takes place in response to complex need involving multi-agency specialists where the consequence of non-intervention could lead to risk of serious harm. This level also includes children with severe disabilities and learning difficulties.’

The key factor in determining if a child or young person requires statutory intervention is the ‘risk of serious harm’ and any decision to move to a request for statutory intervention or undertaking a statutory child and family assessment should be supported by a clear analysis of the risks’ Cumbria Multi-agency threshold guidance.

Professional Consultation Calls

It is fully recognised that professionals can and will struggle to determine the best course of action for some children; we know it is not an exact science. As such of course, we want to ensure we can offer support by way of professional consultations. This process is being trialled at present. However these should only be requested once a discussion has taken place with your Designated Safeguarding Lead, and the thresholds document has been considered.

To read the full briefing document follow this link

Is your safeguarding training up to date? Cumbria LSCB offers an extensive free training programme to providers of children and young people’s services. For the full programme click here