Sometimes you might suspect that a child is at risk of harm or
neglect. In other cases, you may know of a family who could benefit
from some additional support and help to look after a child
Professional workers with concerns
If you are a professional or a volunteer who comes into contact
with children as part of your work, you have a statutory duty to
safeguard children and report any allegations or concerns about
their welfare or safety. Similarly, if you have identified a child
or young person who could benefit from a service or needs help and
support, you have a responsibility to pass this information on to
the relevant agency.
Safeguarding Children Board web site provides more information
about your responsibilities and how to report concerns.
Early Help Team
- Supports agencies in a practical way by providing information
on services and interventions in Knowsley and neighbouring
boroughs, providing advice and guidance on CAF processes and
procedures and facilitating multi-agency meetings.
- Is the point of contact for cases that do not meet current
Children’s Social Care threshold or where an appropriate agency has
not been identified which can support the needs of the child and
- Maintains an overview of which families are being supported by
- Provides information advice and guidance to practitioners when
considering how to best assess a child’s needs.
- Supports professionals to embed processes and systems of
integrated working in their agencies.
- Maintains the development of an accurate and up to date Family
- Supports the effectiveness of and co-ordination of multi agency
- Assures the quality of assessments in the Borough (CAF/Family
- Works with commissioners to identify gaps in
Early Help team can be contacted by telephone on 0151
Stronger Families (formerly Family First 11-18) Service.
- Is one of the key resources delivering interventions to
families with complex, interacting needs in line with Knowsley
Family Policy, the national Troubled Families agenda and the
Early Help Strategy.
- The core offer of the service is the co-ordination and delivery
of multi-agency interventions, based on whole family assessment and
action planning to helping families achieve positive outcomes
for themselves while reducing the likelihood of escalation
to high cost, statutory, crisis intervention services such as
Children’s Social Care.
- Referrals can be made to the service from any source when
outcomes for children are compromised by issues affecting parents
and carers such as Domestic Abuse, Substance Misuse, Mental Health,
Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour.
Families engaging with the service can expect a wide range of
support either delivered directly by Stronger Families or through
To find out more about the service please call 0151 443
2882 and ask to speak to a team manager.
Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
- Is part of the Knowsley Children and Families Service
- Operates between 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday and can be
contacted via email by phone 0151 443 2600.
- It provides a ‘first point of contact’ for Early Help and
Children’s Social Care (CSC) enabling members of the public and
professionals to raise concerns about the welfare of Children.
This may include Children identified as potentially being in
need of support or at risk of suffering abuse.
- `MASH has a multi-agency function; some of the agencies
represented are Adult Social Care, Children’s Social Care, Health,
Anti-social behaviour team, housing and the Police. Agencies work
together with the Early Help Team and Children’s Social Care to
provide information around cases and help make the best decisions
around a child’s welfare and safety.
- If you contact MASH by telephone you will be asked as series of
questions when making a contact/referral to MASH, this is to ensure
as much information as possible can be gained to support what level
of need is identified and action required by whom. Please
see ‘Guidance on taking a
- There is no pre-requisite to complete a CAF before referring to
Children’s Social Care. If a CAF has been completed at the point of
contact/referral this should be sent with the MARF or sent
separately if the contact is received through a telephone
At all other times the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) acts as the
‘first point of contact’. EDT will only respond to Emergencies that
cannot wait until the next working day. This is usually
circumstances where there are immediate concerns regarding the
welfare of Children or there is a risk of family breakdown and the
Childs’ are being placed in ‘care’.
Please note if you believe a child or young person is at
immediate risk, you should contact the police urgently, CALL 999
Members of the public with concerns
If you are worried a child may be suffering significant harm, or
if you are concerned a child has suffered harm, neglect or abuse,
please follow the advice below.
If you believe a child or young person is at immediate
risk or harm, you should contact the police by dialing
If you have concerns about a child or young person but believe
they are not at immediate risk,
- Discuss your concerns with a professional you trust such as a
health visitor, teacher or GP,
- Contact the MASH Team on 0151 443 2600 ,
- Contact Merseyside Police on 101 (24-hour non-emergency
When you share your concerns, professionals have a
responsibility to act in the interests of the child and are
required to complete an assessment of risk to ensure the most
appropriate support is given and the child is safeguarded.
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
The Common Assessment Framework for children and young people
(CAF) is a shared assessment tool used across agencies in England.
It can help professionals develop a shared understanding of a
child’s needs, so they can be met more effectively. It will avoid
children and families having to tell and re-tell their story.
The CAF is an important tool for early help. It has been
designed specifically to help professionals assess needs at an
earlier stage and then work with families, alongside other
professionals and agencies, to meet them.
The underlying principles of CAF model are:
- The child's needs must come first
- The child's welfare is everyone's responsibility
- All organisations must work together for the benefit of the
- The parents'/carers' rights must be considered and inform the
- The CAF should be ‘owned’ and driven by the child and their
What does the CAF consist of?
- a pre-assessment checklist to help decide who would benefit
from a common assessment
- a process to enable practitioners in the children and young
people’s workforce to undertake a common assessment and then act on
- a standard form to record the assessment
- a delivery plan and review form
It is important that staff from all agencies and organisations
across the Knowsley Partnership register CAFs with Knowsley’s CAF
Team. The Team can then check if a CAF already exists for a
child/young person and share Lead Practitioner details.
The CAF model in Knowsley sets out the Common Assessment
Framework procedures operating in the borough, gives helpful case
studies and sets out useful information on the role of the Lead
Professional. For more information or support regarding Knowsley’s
the process, the
CAF document itself or
CAF reviews, contact the CAF Team.
If you think a child is missing from home or local authority
care, you should call Merseyside Police on 101 (24-hour
If the missing child is the subject of a care order, or is
looked after by Knowsley Council, you should also inform the
child’s social worker. If it is outside of normal office hours
contact the council’s out of hours service on 07659 590 081.
If you are a parent you must inform the police, or where
appropriate Children’s Social Care, when your child goes missing.
Failure to do so could be considered a child protection issue.
If you are a young person, or a parent who is worried about
something which has happened online, the Child Exploitation
and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) can help you. CEOP provides
help and advice and the option to report any instance of sexual
contact or harmful material.
If you are in immediate danger or want urgent help call 999 or
call Merseyside Police by dialing 101 (24-hour non-emergency
If you are worried about a child’s safety or wellbeing you can
also get help, advice and support by calling the NSPCC helpline on
0808 800 5000.