Single point of contact for early help and children's social care
For enquiries and referrals relating to children and young people at risk of harm or where you require support in agreeing an early help offer. Whether a safeguarding or early help response is needed, the single point of contact (SPOC) is here to help.
The single point of contact is made up of the multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) and practitioners from early help.
The new single point of contact offers:
- simpler access to advice and support
- prompt response when children or young people are considered to be at risk
- support for practitioners in agreeing an early help offer for children and young people
Information for other local authorities
The SPOC also operates as a central contact point for out of area children in care notifications, these should be sent to: OLANotifications@croydon.gov.uk.
Urgent referrals in relation to child protection
In an emergency, or if you believe a child is at immediate risk of harm, call the police on 999
Urgent child protection matters needing immediate attention, call 020 8255 2888
This will connect you to the single point of contact team and, after some basic details are taken, you will be transferred to a social worker who will discuss the concerns with you and, if necessary, start child protection processes. This line is for urgent child protection matters only that require a same day intervention from a social worker.
Professionals with safeguarding responsibilities: you must also follow this call up by emailing a completed referral form within 3 hours after the call (see below for form and email address).
Professionals consultation line
Professionals can contact the SPOC for advice, provided the case is not allocated to another social worker and the child lives in the Croydon area.
Due to the current situation with COVID 19, we are no longer able to receive calls via the Consultation Line number until further notice. If you would like advice or support on making a referral, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org, providing your contact details and a brief summary of your query and a social worker will contact you.
Out of hours
Our emergency social work service is for urgent child protection matters that cannot wait until the next working day, call 020 8726 6400. Ask to speak to the out of hours team. You will be put through to an operator who will take basic information and then pass this on to the SPOC or our out of hours team.
For non-urgent safeguarding and child in need concerns, we want to make sure children get the service they need as quickly as possible. To do this we need to have the best possible information.
Members of the public
If you are worried about a child or young person, call us on 020 8726 6400.
Professionals with safeguarding responsibilities
Follow these steps:
Step 1: Consider what level of intervention is needed
We know that it is sometimes difficult to decide the appropriate point of intervention. To help you to determine levels of need when making your own assessment, refer to the early help and staged model of intervention descriptors on the Croydon Partnership early help page or Croydon Safeguarding Children Board threshold guidance.
Step 2: Consider if early help is appropriate
Practitioners are expected to work together to meet the child or young person's additional needs and they may engage with other services to do so. Refer to the list of universal support services in the community, for additional support information. This can be found on our Croydon Partnership early help page.
The child and family wellbeing assessment, led by a lead professional within the professional network, should be used to record the family's views, their needs, strengths and goals, leading to the production of an outcome based plan to support them.
Where the difficulties and needs are more complex, or intervention under level 2 has not been achieved, practitioners can either speak to an early help consultant or make a referral to single point of contact (SPOC) with as much information as possible so a decision can be made about the next steps. We will notify you in writing about the outcome of your referral. The referral form and email address can be found at the bottom of this page.
Practical family or parenting support
You can also visit the Croydon Partnership early help page for further information.
Step 3: Obtain consent – unless there is a good reason not to
It is important that the referrer gains consent from the parents or carer to make a referral, otherwise the single point of contact may be limited in what checks can be undertaken.
Unless there is a good reason to share information without consent, for example child protection enquiry or public protection matter, consent will always be sought from adults who hold parental responsibility for them. We ask our partners, where appropriate, to discuss intended referrals about children with adults who hold parental responsibility prior to making a referral. Our referral form asks professionals to confirm that this has been done, but it may not be possible to progress referrals without consent.
Complete a referral form
Send referral forms to email@example.com
Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
Bernard Weatherill House
8 Mint Walk
- Child and family wellbeing assessment and outcomes based plan [38.2KB]
- Multi-agency referral form - MARF [80.7KB]