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Herts County Council logoConsultation Hub for Child Protection Advice

Reopening of Consultation Hub for Child Protection Advice on 2 September 2020

As part of continued efforts to manage the ongoing concern of COVID-19 Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) is implementing Business Continuity Plans. We want to assure you that in Children’s Services we are working to ensure we maintain service delivery wherever possible whilst managing the impact on our staff and the children and families we are supporting.

In light of this, we have taken the decision to temporarily close the Consultation Hub for Children Protection Advice from 18 March 2020 until further notice.

In the absence of the ‘office based’ Consultation Hub servcie, we are asking schools to seek advice directly from Child Protection School Liaison Officers (CPSLOs) if you have a concern about a child that you believe has suffered significant harm or at risk of harm and therefore will warrant a child protection referral to children services.  

Please note: Where you are concerned that a child may be at imminent risk of significant ham, please call 999 for Police or make a Child Protection Contact Referral by either calling the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 and/or complete and submit a Child Protection Contact Referral online.

The form will be located online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/childprotection

There will be an expectation that before you call CPSLO’s for advice you continue to consult the Continuum of Need (pdf) and HSCB Child Protection Procedures  and your designated safeguarding lead.

The CPSLO’s team will provide a consultation service Mon-Thurs 9am-5pm and Fridays 9am-4pm. The duty CPSLO will take a lunch break between 12-1pm, calls will not be answered during this time.

In order to ensure consultations are dealt with as smoothly as possibly, if you call the duty CPSLO and there is no answer it is likely they are dealing with an active consultation on the telephone. Please DO NOT leave a voice message or email either the duty CPSLO, alternative CPSLO workers or Team Manager as the duty CPSLO does not have the capacity to check these whilst on duty and other colleagues may not have access to their systems at the time. We therefore cannot guarantee that your message will be answered. Please end your call and call the duty CPSLO back 5-10 minutes later. On busy days, we recognise this may result in you calling in on a few occasions but until such time we revert back to the main consultation HUB line jointly with other agencies, this process is in place to ensure consultations are dealt with as quickly as possible.

The contact details for each CPSLO and the duty rota is as follows:

Paula Hayden: 01992 556710 
Viv Hammond: 01992 588800  
Freya Rymer: 01992 588182 
John Mairs: 01992 555298
Kassiane Papageorgiou – Team Manager 01992 556979 

The current temporary arrangement that has been in operation from 18 March 2020, with CPSLOs giving advice to schools will cease on Friday 21 July 2020.

In preparation for all schools opening in September 2020, the Consultation Hub for Child Protection Advice will re-open to all schools in the County, including Independent schools and key workers of Families First Assessment on 02 September 2020. 

There will be an expectation that you continue to consult the Continuum of Need and HSCB Child Protection Procedures  and your designated safeguarding lead.

The single number to call for consultations is 01438 737511. The Consultation Hub is operational as outlined below.

  • Monday to Thursday 9.00am – 5.00pm and 9.00am – 4.00pm on Fridays

Please note: Where you are concerned that a child may be at imminent risk of significant ham, please call 999 for Police or make a Child Protection Contact Referral by either calling the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 and/or complete and submit a Child Protection Contact Referral online. The form will be located online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/childprotection

If there is an open Family First Assessment, for which you are the keyworker and you need further advice and guidance, please contact your local Families First Coordinators, their contact details can be found on the Families First Portal by clicking on the link; Speak to Someone or www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/familiesfirstpractitioners

Please note: If you call the Consultation Hub and all lines are busy, please give it a few minutes and call back as we are unable to check and therefore do not respond to any voicemail messages.

Rationale for The Consultation Hub:

Children’s Services have implementing a single Consultation Hub for schools and Early Years settings in response to discussions with schools about how we could strengthen support for referrals and ensure requests for support and safeguarding of children get to the right place, first time. Referrals on ‘Red’ CP form routinely had not met thresholds for significant harm or significant impairment to a child’s health & development

This replaced the arrangements for consultations with Child Protection School Liaison Officers (CPSLO) and the Early Help Advice Line.  The Consultation Hub is operated by a Child Protection School Liaison Officer, a Social Worker and a Families First Coordinator and is intended to provide advice on child protection concerns.

Who can contact The Consultation Hub?

  • DSPs and Deputy DSP’s from Schools, Academies, Independent Schools and Colleges as well as Early Years settings, attached to schools. 
  • Key workers where there is an open FFA and there is a concern regarding significant harm to a child/children

Prior to contacting The Consultation Hub:

  • Consult the Continuum of Need document/Families First Pathway
  • Any other relevant assessment documents such as The Brook Traffic Light Tool.

Ensure you have the child/children’s full name, date of birth and address to enable The Consultation Hub staff to carry out pre-discussion checks

The Consultation Hub staff will give advice only and will not progress referrals. If they advise a professional to make a child protection referral, they will record this on the child’s record. If they advise a referral should be made for family support services (Early Help support), they will note the same on the child’s record and the professional who has contacted The Consultation Hub will need to complete a ‘Families First Request for Support’ form (formerly green form). The professional should note on the either referral form that a consultation has taken place with The Consultation Hub and that they were advised to make a child protection or Families First request for support referral. This will help Customer Services staff to speed through referrals to the most appropriate team to help or advice.

Please Note: If there is an open Family First Assessment, for which you are the keyworker and you need further advice and guidance, unless there are concerns of significant harm, please contact your local Families First Coordinators.  Their contact details can be found on the Families First Portal. 

The single number to call for consultations is 01438 737511.
The Consultation Hub is operational as outlined below
Monday to Thursday           9.00am – 5.00pm
Fridays                                9.00am – 4.00pm

It is available during term time and school holidays except for Bank Holidays

Where professionals are concerned that a child may be at imminent risk of significant harm please call 999 for police or make a child protection referral by either calling the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 or complete and submit a child protection on-line referral.

 

Updated 1 September 2020 by Child Protection Team