Professionals can find important information on this page, such as how to make a Safeguarding Referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or make a Request for Early Help. You can also access a range of information including procedures and assessment tools from the Resource Library.
Making a Safeguarding Referral
If you are a professional and want to make a safeguarding referral please use the Children’s Services SAFEGUARDING referral form. The Threshold Guidance Document, updated in September 2020, will be a useful reference tool to help you when making decisions and sharing your thinking with the people you work with. There is also an Animated Young People’s Version of Threshold Guidance
The Durham Threshold Document sets out the local criteria for action and includes links to additional information which may assist with professional judgement in understanding, and subsequently meeting a child and family’s needs.
Across Durham we expect everyone to take a child-centred approach. Anyone working with children should see and speak to the child, listen to what they say and take their views seriously.
The best way to address a concern is through a conversation with the family (if this does not increase the risk for the child or anyone else) and with all the other practitioners involved. If you are uncertain about the level at which the concern needs addressing and need advice, you can use the threshold document to support your conversation with Durham’s First Contact Team.
As a professional you can request support for a child and family by either: -
- Contacting the Early Help Triage Workers for advice and information about services and support for children and families available in the community on 03000 267979 (listen to the options and select ‘Early Help’)
- Complete the on-line Early Help Request Form on the Childrens Service Portal.
There will be the facility for you to create an account which will allow you to save and return to an incomplete Early Help Form before submitting should you require this. You only need to create an account once. For further guidance on how to do this please go to ‘How to Create an Account'
Where there is an immediate risk to a child ring First Contact on 03000 267979 (listen to the options and select ‘Safeguarding’) or ring 999 and speak to the Police if risk of harm is imminent.
Process to Contact LADO
Contacting the LADO is facilitated through dedicated customer service staff via telephone ONLY.
Basic referral information will be obtained from you, and where advice or guidance is required from the LADO, your call will be transferred to the LADO on duty. If there is a more appropriate course of action for your referral, you will be advised by the customer service team at the time.
LADO Contact Number – 03000 268835
The Allegations Against Staff or Volunteers procedures can be found on our Multi-Agency Child Protection Procedures.