Concerned about a child or young person

If you have a concern that a child is vulnerable or at risk of significant harm please contact the Children's Front Door:

Phone: 01904 551900


Post: The Children's Front Door, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Outside office hours, at weekends and on public holidays contact the emergency duty team telephone: 01609 780780

You may also contact the Children's Front Door to speak to the Local Area Team practitioners about early help assessments and interventions.

If you need to make a safeguarding referral about a child or young person who has been or may be hurt or neglected or who has significant vulnerabilities please use the referral form.

Children’s Social Care need you to use this form because you are best placed to provide the information that they must have to make a timely, proportionate and effective decision about what help and support the child and their parents or carers need.

Children’s Social Care will accept telephone referrals where there is an immediate risk to a child but when they do so, you will be asked to complete the referral form within 24 hours with written information confirming that provided by telephone. If you are phoning in a referral, it will help to have the referral form in front of you to act as a guide for the information you will be asked to provide by the Social Worker.

If you are uncertain about your concerns, you can call the Children’s Front Door to have a conversation with a qualified social worker. However you should first speak to the child protection lead in your agency


In the Autumn of 2019 the Children’s Front Door will become a new Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). This will still be a single point of access for all concerns about children, and the new multi-agency team will continue to provide advice, support and protection as needed, but the arrangements will be slightly different. There will be a new 'Levels of Need Document' (workshops on this will take place in October and November (see CYSCP Face to Face Courses for details) and a new referral form.

However, for the time being, please continue to use the current referral form.


When you call the Children's Front Door you will be given three options


Thresholds and conversations

The CYSCP Multi-agency Threshold Document is available here.  This has been revised so that it complies with the requirements of Working Together 2018  


The best way to address a concern is through conversation with the family (as long as this does not increase the risk for the child or anyone else) and with the other practitioners involved. If you are uncertain about the level at which the concern needs addressing, the Children’s Front Door offers you the opportunity to talk it through with a qualified social worker to understand whether a social care assessment is needed or whether the case can be progressed at early help level. Also via the Children's Front Door, Local Area Team practitioners can advise you about early help assessments and processes.

Individual situations can be multifaceted and cannot necessarily be addressed via a simple checklist approach. Children and young people may require interventions at several levels. This means that a child may have interventions from a variety of services from universal services to services to manage very complex needs, all at the same time. This means sharing responsibility rather than discharging it up or down the ‘thresholds’ to a different service.

Communication and collaboration between practitioners, at all levels, and with the child and family are the best way to understand the child’s needs and to ascertain when those needs are not being met and when some other intervention is needed to improve outcomes. These communications lead to meaningful assessment and inform ongoing support, planning and review.

Sometimes practitioners (and families) may not agree with each other. In such instances practitioners should seek support from their line manager, or agency child protection lead and, failing a satisfactory outcome to further discussions at this level, may implement the resolution of disputes process.

All communications, assessments, plans and reviews, whatever the outcome, should be recorded appropriately by all agencies in order to show that they took place, identify what was agreed and evaluate how effectively needs were met.  

Links and information

If you have a concern or allegation about a professional (including volunteers) who works with children and young people and the way they have behaved towards a child, please go to the page giving details of how to contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

The Partnership Information Sharing Form can be used if you think you have information to share with the police about situations in which children, young people or adults may be vulnerable to exploitation. If someone is at risk of immediate harm you need to call 999.

If you think that a child or young person is vulnerable to extremism/radicalisation or exhibiting behaviour or making comments that suggest he/she may be involved in activity which could be linked to terrorism, you need to follow the guidance above in regard to being concerned about a child.

CYSCB guidance and procedures can help in decision making about what to do next.

Or search this site for information on lots of different potential safeguarding situations and links to documents and sites both local and national.

Screening Tools

CYSCP CE Screening Tool

CYSCP Neglect Screening Tool

Brook Traffic Light Tool



The City of York Self Harm and Suicidal Behaviour booklet

(sometimes known as the ‘Pink Book’)

is for practitioners who work with children and young people under the age of 18 (under 25 for those with disabilities or for care leavers) who self-harm or feel suicidal. 

It is intended for use by practitioners working in a wide range of settings such as schools and youth or community groups.