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
If you believe a child or young person is at immediate risk, you
should contact the police urgently as a 999 emergency.
If you have concerns about a child or young person but believe
they are not at immediate risk you can either:
- Contact Knowsley Children’s Social Care Social Work Teams on
0151 443 3792 or 0151 443 3798 (for emergency out of hours support,
call 0151 443 2600)
- Contact Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010 (24-hour line)
- Discuss your concerns with a professional you trust such as a
health visitor, teacher or GP
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
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
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 model,
CAF document itself or
CAF reviews, contact the CAF Team.
CAF/Early Help Team
When wanting to register a CAF, advise of any
changes to an existing CAF including a change of Lead Practitioner,
review dates, checks on whether a CAF is open and notify when a CAF
is closed, contact the CAF Team at CAFTEAM@knowsley.gov.uk.
Caroline Mann (Early Help Assessment
Manager) can be contacted for information, advice and
guidance on 0151 443 4092/4707 or
by email at CAFTEAM@knowsley.gov.uk.
The CAF Team are based in KMBC Kirkby
Municipal Building, Cherryfield Drive, Kirkby, L32 1TX. Please note
the former telephone number of 0151 443 4842 will
cease to be of use.
If you think a child is missing from home or local authority
care, you should call Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010 (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
contact your local police station.
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.
The Knowsley Safeguarding Children
Board website provides more information about your
responsibilities, and how to report concerns.
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.