The Integrated Front Door is the first point of contact for enquiries and referrals relating to children and young people made by professionals, families and the public.

If you would like to submit a referral using the online referral form, please use the link below.  All referrals regarding children and young people made by professionals must be submitted using the online referral form. It will be triaged and filtered to the correct service.

If you are a professional and would like to request information in respect of child or adult related to them, please complete the online request for information form below.

Make a referral for a child

To make a referral:

  1. Download and complete our referral document
  2. Send the document to us using our online form


Make an information sharing request

 

Frequently asked questions

 

Will the Integrated Front Door team have a say when a child needs to move up to the next phase when this level is not working? and what timescales will be used to determine this?

What should I do if I have not received a response to my referral within 24 hours?

Will clear identification of thresholds be applied to aid in referral process?

What is the role of the Advanced Practitioner?

Will there be clear feedback given to the referrer from the IFD and Access Point regarding the suggested plan of support, especially if the child is going to be signposted to other services?

What if families don't give consent to a referral?

Is there option to ask for advice prior to making referral?

Is there a section on housing conditions?

Will I get a record of the information that I have sent via the form?

If attaching an Early Help, do we still need to fill in all the sections on the online referral?

Are current Open Early Help Assessments logged on the central database being reviewed?

Do we not have to keep a signed copy of the EHA by parents anymore?

Is the current Early Help Assessment being updated or remaining the same?

Do we still send Early Help Assessments to BoltonISA@bolton.gov.uk

Do you refer to the Targeted Early Help Service through this process or is that a separate referral process?

If a child/ family are already working with a social worker and I want to share a current concern, will this be done directly to the designated social worker rather than go through the online form?

How do we share information with primary schools when they leave Pre-school?

Will consent still be required to share information after every EH review or can the consent in the EHA carry forward?

When this form moves online, how would we gain consent from parents? Would this need to be verbal?

What is the difference between the online referral form and EHA?

When will we need to start using the new referral process?

Do EHA’s not have to be shared with the Integrated Front Door?

Can I ring through a referral that is not a concern regarding Significant Harm/Child Protection?

If I have a concern for a child out of hours, what should I do?

I would like to request information in respect of a child or family member, what should I do?

 

Will the Integrated Front Door team have a say when a child needs to move up to the next phase when this level is not working? and what timescales will be used to determine this?

If a practitioner considers the level of need for a child exceeds the Early Help thresholds, a referral to Children’s Services Integrated Front Door (IFD) should be made using the online referral form, or by telephone if the child is suffering or at risk of significant harm.  The IFD Referral Team will triage the referral to assess the threshold and make a decision about if this needs statutory support.  Decisions will be made within 24hrs from receipt of referral. 

 

What should I do if I have not received a response to my referral within 24 hours?

If you have not received a response within 24 hours, you should contact us by telephone.

 

Will clear identification of thresholds be applied to aid in referral process?

Yes, these are outlined in the Framework for Action document.  Practitioners should use this document to support their decision making. 

 

What is the role of the Advanced Practitioner?

Within the IFD, the Advanced Practitioner’s role is to support the service and staff development across the Referral Team.  This role supports continuous service improvement in addition to undertaking a Social Work role on the team. 

 

Will there be clear feedback given to the referrer from the IFD and Access Point regarding the suggested plan of support, especially if the child is going to be signposted to other services?

The IFD and Access Point will always liaise with the referrer with regard to signposting and recommendations for additional services who could support.  The Access Point will not refer children on to additional services on behalf of the current Lead Professional.  This is to ensure that the Lead Professional is able to have an open and transparent discussion with the family about other services becoming involved in their support plan. 

For example, if the referrer is the schools DSL, they will be contacted directly about the referral they have made and feedback, advice and guidance given for the DSL to act upon and continue to support the child and family. 

 

What if families don't give consent to a referral?

Within the context of Early Help support, consent is always required, as this is not statutory support.

If a practitioner feels that a referral to Children’s Services is required for statutory assessment and support, it is good practice to seek their consent and discuss the referral and your concerns with the family.

However, in some circumstances, it may not be safe or appropriate to do so, this is where advising a family about a referral may introduce further risk to the child.  In these cases, the rationale about why consent has not been sought should be provided on the online referral form.

If consent is not given to a referral, and this is deemed appropriate to be sought by the IFD, work should continue at Early Help or consideration should be given to whether the lack of consent introduces further risk of significant harm. 

 

Is there option to ask for advice prior to making referral?

Yes, when dialling 01204 331500, there is an option to seek advice. 

Practitioners can also speak directly to the Early Help Access Point on 01204 331501

 

Is there a section on housing conditions?

There isn’t a specific question on housing conditions within the online referral form, however, a practitioner would capture this within the ‘what are you worried about’ section if this was a concern.

 

Will I get a record of the information that I have sent via the form?

The content of your submission is not emailed to the referrer.  Practitioners can print the summary before clicking submit should they require a copy for their records. 

 

If attaching an Early Help, do we still need to fill in all the sections on the online referral?

Yes, the online referral form does need to be completed to support the triage process and to demonstrate why the practitioner is requesting support from statutory services.  The EHA and plans should support the referral by providing more in-depth detail. 

 

Are current Open Early Help Assessments logged on the central database being reviewed?

Currently, we are undertaking a cleanse exercise of the EHA database.  This supports a wider programme of work relating to systems support and infrastructure in Early Help.

At this time, there are Early Help Assessments held on the system that have not been closed in a timely way, and there has been no activity in 6mths or more.  The cleanse of the database will close Early Help Assessments that fall into this category. 

It is critical that practitioners regularly update and interact with the Early Help database in order to submit plans and reviews in a timely manner.  this ensures the most up to date information is available should another practitioner make an enquiry about existing Early Help support. 

The Early Help database is an early safeguarding mechanism to support and enable practitioners to work in a joined up way, reduce duplication and ensure an effective team around the family approach to support.

 

Do we not have to keep a signed copy of the EHA by parents anymore?

The central Early Help database is used as a mechanism to ensure joined up working practices.  However, in addition, each agency is responsible for their own record keeping in relation to Early Help Assessment information and referrals.  Please consult with your own agency’s information governance guidance. 

 

Is the current Early Help Assessment being updated or remaining the same?

The EHA is currently being revised and it is expected that the new EHA will be launched early Autumn.  Until this is launched, the existing EHA should continue to be used. 

 

Do we still send Early Help Assessments to BoltonISA@bolton.gov.uk

This email address will still be monitored to maintain the central Early Help database. 

It is likely that this will change when the new EHA is in place to reduce the number of Early Help email addresses we have and simplify the way in which you contact us about Early Help.

 

Do you refer to the Targeted Early Help Service through this process or is that a separate referral process?

Early Help forms part of the ‘Front Door’. 

The online referral form supports the single point of access to Children’s Services (Children’s Social Care and Early Help). 

Practitioners should complete this form if they are requesting this service and attach a copy of the current EHA and plan.  Please be clear about what you are asking the service to support with.

 

If a child/ family are already working with a social worker and I want to share a current concern, will this be done directly to the designated social worker rather than go through the online form?

This is correct.  For an open case, supported by a Social Worker, please contact them directly. 

 

How do we share information with primary schools when they leave Pre-school?

To share Early Help Assessment information and ongoing support requirements for a child, a practitioner will need to obtain consent from the family to share with the primary school setting.  During this discussion, consideration should be given to who undertake the role of Lead Professional and ensure the family are in agreement. 

When the child leaves the pre-school setting, and support will be ongoing provided by the primary school, the pre-school (with consent) can share the relevant documents directly with school.  The pre-school should also email BoltonISA@bolton.gov.uk to update the Lead Professional details. 

 

Will consent still be required to share information after every EH review or can the consent in the EHA carry forward?

The current Early Help Assessment processes are under review, alongside the EHA. 

This review will seek to introduce consent for the ‘life’ of the EHA. 

However, should a referral to Children’s Services be required, consent will still need to be obtained as this is not covered within the consent statement of the EHA. 

 

When this form moves online, how would we gain consent from parents? Would this need to be verbal?

Verbal consent is acceptable.  However, each agency is responsible for their own record keeping in relation to referrals and consent.  Please consult with your own agency’s information governance guidance. 

 

What is the difference between the online referral form and EHA?

The EHA is an assessment of need at an Early Help level of need, to provide support to a child and their family as need arises.  The new processes for referring to Children’s Services do not affect the way in which this process operates.  Early Help should be considered as an initial intervention.  Early Help processes, including Early Help Assessment will continue to run without changes at this current time.  This process can be led by partners without the need to engage with the IFD or Early Help Access Point.

Any Early Help Assessments and plans/reviews should be submitted to BoltonISA@bolton.govuk

 

The online referral form is a referral to Children’s Services to access;

  1. Targeted Early Help Services – this is for cases where the support provided at an Early Help level by a practitioner is no longer effective and does not meet the threshold for statutory intervention (wherever possible, Early Help support should have been tried and the assessment and plan shared as part of the referral). 

This service provides intensive Early Help support which is time limited.On completion, the work may step down to the referring service or alternative lead professional from a partner agency.

  1. Children’s Services Statutory Support- this is for cases the practitioner believes meet the threshold for a statutory Children and Families assessment (Child in Need).  Wherever possible, Early Help support should have been tried and the assessment and plan shared as part of the referral. 

 

Please noted that the online referral form does not replace the Early Help Assessment. 

Decisions about referrals to the above services should be supported by the Framework for Action. 

 

For concerns about significant harm (Child Protection), please use 01204 331500 to refer.

 

When will we need to start using the new referral process?

The Integrated Front Door will go live on Monday 26th July 2021.  The Framework for Action is live from 19th July. 

 

Do EHA’s not have to be shared with the Integrated Front Door?

No, there is no requirement to share the EHA with the IFD unless this is to support a referral.  However, on completion of an EHA, a copy should be submitted to boltonISA@bolton.gov.uk to ensure the central Early Help database is kept up to date, as part of the early safeguarding mechanisms. 

 

Can I ring through a referral that is not a concern regarding Significant Harm/Child Protection?

No, this telephone line is reserved for those cases of most concern.  Please do not ring about cases where you do not have concerns about significant harm/child protection.  If a practitioner attempts to use this line to refer through a case without significant harm/child protection concerns, they will be redirected to the online referral form. 

The number for significant harm/child protection concerns is 01204 331500.   

 

If I have a concern for a child out of hours, what should I do?

Our opening hours are Monday – Friday from 8:45 – 5pm, excluding bank holidays. Outside of these hours, you should continue to complete the online referral form if you wish to make a referral in respect of a child that lives in Bolton and we will triage this during working hours.

If you believe there is immediate risk of significant harm to a child, contact the Police on 999.

If you believe there are significant safeguarding concerns for a child, you can call the emergency duty team on 01204 337777.

 

I would like to request information in respect of a child or family member, what should I do?

If you would like to request information in respect of a child or family member, you should complete our ‘Request For Information’ form. The form can be found on our website along with guidance information at www.bolton.gov.uk and search ‘worried about a child.’ The form will be available on this page for you to complete. We will respond to your request within 5 working days.