Contact children's services
Who to contact if you are worried about a child
If you think a child or young person is at risk of significant harm, or is injured, contact:
0300 456 0108 - Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), standard working hours:
- Monday to Thursday from 8.45am to 5pm
- Friday from 8.45am to 4pm
0300 456 0100 - Out of hours service:
- Monday to Thursday 5pm to midnight, Friday 4pm to midnight
- weekends and Bank Holidays from 9am - midnight
- phones are diverted to the Social Work Standby Service from midnight to 9am (7 days a week)
If there is immediate danger, phone the police or emergency services on 999
The Integrated Front Door service
The Integrated Front Door service provides a 24-hour response to concerns for children 7 days a week, 365 days a year and all staff in the team have training and experience in the support and safeguarding of children.
The service consists of the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), the Early Support Hub (ESH) and the Out of Hours Service (EDS) and is based in one hub in County Hall, Trowbridge. The service has been judged Good by Ofsted, June 2019.
MASH is the front door for all referrals in relation to children and young people in Wiltshire. The team is co-located with police and health colleagues to ensure timely decision making occurs in response to safeguarding referrals.
Contact MASH on 0300 456 0108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Early Support Hub aims to build effective support within our communities for children and families where there is not a safeguarding risk to ensure that children and families receive the right support at the right time for them. We have strong multi agency partnerships with Police, health, education, domestic abuse services, substance misuse services and child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) who are co-located within the Front Door services. The ESH also works with several virtual partners including probation, army welfare service and adult mental health.
Our Early Support workers undertake lead roles with education, Early Years, teenagers & Young People, and have extensive knowledge of services available in the local area to support families. If you would like to speak with one of our Early Support workers, please phone the Integrated Front Door on 0300 456 0108.
Early Support Assessments (ESA)
If you require assistance in completing a ESA form, or wish to register a ESA, you can do this by emailing ESA@wiltshire.gov.uk.
Advisors are available for ESA Consultations every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (Tuesday and Thursday from 8.45am-5pm, Friday 8.45am-2.30pm). If a worker is not available at the time you call, they will call you back as soon as they can. Please call MASH on 0300 456 0108 to request an ESA Consultation.
A MASH Tour is available for professionals to gain an understanding of how the team works and to meet and recognise various roles in MASH. The session is in person at County Hall, Trowbridge and during the session you will have the opportunity to meet some members of the team, as well as have a tour of the MASH office. You must email MASHadmin@wiltshire.gov.uk to book a place.
The Out of Hours Service provides an emergency social work service outside of normal office hours; nights, weekends and bank holidays.
The service responds to the following situations:
- emergencies where immediate social care intervention is required to safeguard a Child or Young Person
- significant welfare concerns that cannot safely wait until the next working day
- provides support, information and advice over the phone to keep the situation safe until the next working day
Other related services
Supporting children and young people with a disability/multiple disabilities. Providing assessment for specialist services and overnight short breaks.
Advocacy for children and young people aged 5+, including:
- children and young people who are subject to child protection proceedings - using an opt-out model
- children and young people going through legal proceedings or pre-proceedings with the potential of becoming looked after - using an opt out model.
- Looked After Children - using an opt out model.
- Care Experienced Young People and young people preparing to leave care.
- children and young people wishing to make a complaint.
- children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, who may struggle to express their views.
- children and young people who have been assessed by families and children's services as young carers, or who are in the process of assessment.
- children and young people who are Privately Fostered or subject to a Special Guardianship Order.
- children and young people accessing Mental Health Services.
Referrals can be made to The Wiltshire Advocacy People by:
Email - email@example.com
Telephone - 0330 440 9000
For any opt-out referrals the e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information the website is: www.theadvocacypeople.org.uk.
Supporting children and young people unable to live with their parents:
- North: 01249 707 990
- South: 01722 438 165
- Virtual School for Looked After Children, email: email@example.com
In Wiltshire, there are 5 Support and Safeguarding Teams covering different geographical areas. Each of these teams are composed of both support workers and social workers.
- North: 01249 707 900
- East: 01380 826 250
- South: 01722 438 165
- West (1 and 2): 01225 718 555
Prior to coming to the Support and Safeguarding Teams, referrals are assessed through the Integrated Front Door who determine the level of need for the case and then direct this level of need to the appropriate Support and Safeguarding Team.
Some children and families may be in need of additional support where existing support plans with lead professionals have not improved outcomes. In these circumstances, a referral to the Integrated Front Door service can be made to review the existing plan and ascertain what support has already been provided to the family. In some situations, it may be concluded that the family will benefit from a targeted intervention from the Support Service to improve specific outcomes. There needs to be consent from parents in order to make a referral to the Support Service.
If a Support Assessment is recommended, a Family Keyworker will complete the assessment with the family over an initial period of 5 weeks which will help to inform what specific support a child or the family may need. The family keyworker will then implement the plan in partnership with other professionals and with the family themselves. Key Workers may also signpost to other services. Family Keyworkers will hold Support Planning Meetings every 4-6 weeks with the family and all professionals who are supporting to review the progress made. This meeting may decide that further support is needed, for defined period of time. If there has been good progress a 'step down' to Early Support and a lead professional may be recommended to continue to support the family in the community.
The role of the Family Keyworker in the Support Service is to establish strong relationships with children, young people, parents and carers to enable a thorough understanding of barriers to them achieving positive outcomes and, using appropriate intervention techniques and direct work, develop their resilience, strengthen family relationships and prevent the need for more intensive or specialist services.
The role of the Family Keyworker is also to engage with children, young people and families using a holistic approach to include them in assessment, planning, goal setting and decision making. In addition to working with partner organisations and coordinating and driving a joint family-based approach.
Some families may need more intensive support than can be provided by a family keyworker and/or the level of risk and harm to the child(ren) is such that these child(ren) will not achieve their potential without significant intervention. These families will be assigned to a social worker. Most of these families will come to the Support and Safeguarding Team through a request for a single assessment. This assessment is allocated to a social worker who will complete an holistic assessment of the child and families needs, looking at individual children's needs, parenting capacity and the wider family and community context.
The aim of this assessment is to determine the level of need for these children, determine any harm they are suffering, determine the level of any harm, and identify what actions need to take place to mitigate any harm and promote the overall wellbeing of the child(ren). If required, children will then be provided with a plan to address the above issues with the overall aim of improving the outcomes for the child(ren). This plan will be either through a child in need plan, or, if it is assessed that any child(ren) are suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm, through child protection procedures and planning. These plans will be multi-agency and reviewed in partnership with key agencies but will be held and lead by an allocated social worker. These plans are made through close working and consultation with children and their families to promote children living at home in a safe environment where they can thrive and reach their full potential. Where children are not able to be kept safe through such plans, the social worker and their team will consider legal advice and care proceedings in order to ensure that children are safe. This may then involve such children being supported to stay with alternate family members or, in some occasions, if there are no other safe options, becoming 'Looked After Children' and being provided care by the Local Authority.
Wiltshire's SEND Service is an innovative service, pulling together key skills, knowledge and appropriate roles from across the Children and Young People Disabilities Teams and Education professionals. We exist to improve outcomes and make a positive difference to the lives of children and young people with SEND, and their families, who require support to be included in their community.
Local Offer information is available online.
The role of the SEND lead worker
A SEND Lead worker is allocated to a child or young person with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). They will:
- act as a single point of contact for the child/ family
- keep practitioners focused on the child/ family
- empower the child/young person/ family to make decisions and be heard
- coordinate actions agreed by practitioners and the family and avoid potential duplication
Their level of involvement will vary according to the child or young person's needs but is likely to be particularly involved at key transition times. They will help to make sure things are being done in a timely way. Sometimes another professional will take the lead but the SEND Lead Worker can always be contacted to check what is happening. Their role may include:
- checking what other services/people are currently involved
- referring the child or young person and their family to other services as appropriate
- considering existing specialist assessments and ensuring further assessments are requested as needed
- attending reviews, Team around the Child (TAC) meeting, professional's meetings as appropriate
- arranging TACs as necessary
- supporting the child/young person/family to access information on the local offer
- discussing future options
- ensuring that an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is written that supports
To speak to a member of the SEND Team about a child or young person's needs, you can contact the duty SEND lead worker on 01225 712620.
The role of the Designated Officer for Allegations (DOFA) is to be involved in the management and oversight of allegations against people who work with children. They are not responsible for undertaking investigations. They can provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations.
The DOFA does not:
- undertake any investigation
- provide advice and support to the to the person subject of the allegation
- provide HR advice in the respect of the suspension or dismissal
What is an allegation
An allegation refers to any information or concern which suggests an adult who works with children has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child.
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they would pose a risk of harm to children.
- behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children
When to make a referral
When an allegation is made, referrals should be made by the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) within your organisation, within one working day.
You can contact the DOFA by:
Phone: 0300 456 0108 (Option 3, Option 4)
What happens when a referral is made
The DOFA will review and provide initial advice and guidance. The DOFA will consider the relevant facts and concerns within the referral and will then decide on the next course of action.
On being informed of an allegation, the DOFA undertakes an initial evaluation to establish if the threshold of 'risk of harm' is met. If the allegation threshold is not met the DOFA will agree an appropriate response (for example, for the employer to undertake further enquiries or undertake and initial investigation).
The DOFA will oversight all consultations within 72 hours and provide advice and guidance as necessary.
If the allegations threshold is met, an allegations meeting will be convened within 5 days. The meetings primary focus is on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child and as such, will consider the child directly involved in any allegation, but also any other children who could have suffered or are at risk of suffering harm. All relevant information will be shared within these meetings but kept in the strictest confidence outside the DOFA process.
Actions arising from an allegations meeting will be distributed within 1 hour of the meeting and the minutes within 5 working days.
Supporting children aged 5 years and under, and their families.
For all childcare information call: 0300 003 4561
Independent befriending support for children living in care.
Telephone: 01225 713934 or 07733 303124
Supporting young people who misuse drugs or alcohol and who need advice, support and guidance to make a positive change.
Telephone: 0800 169 6136
Supporting young people to move back into education, employment or training
We are committed to reducing the number of 16 and 17 year olds who are not in any form of education, employment or training (NEET). These young people may face multiple barriers to their participation and need a different type of support.
The EET service has two key priorities:
- signposting and advice for young people who are NEET to support them into jobs, further education, apprenticeships or other training
- tracking young people from the age of 16 years up to September after their 18th birthday as part of the September Guarantee, when all young people should have a suitable offer of education or training after they complete their GCSE year
Through the raising the participation age (RPA) all young people must stay in education or training until they reach age 18. Many young people remain in education, but some take up other options, including:
- learning at work through an apprenticeship or traineeship
- staying in part-time education or training whilst employed, self-employed or volunteering for more than 20 hours per week.
Who we support
We can help young people from aged 16, after they leave school and up to September after their 18th birthday, who are not in any form of education or training and are unemployed. Schools, sixth forms and colleges offer information and guidance on young people's options to ensure suitable progression is made after leaving school or finishing their studies.
For some young people who are NEET support is provided by other Local Authority Teams, specifically for young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) supported by the SEND service and those working with the Youth Offending Team (YOT) or a Personal Adviser.
What we provide
One-to-one support for young people who need help to find the right opportunity for them. This can be face to face, by phone or online. This support includes:
- engaging a young person in understanding the provision available
- finding and applying for a suitable education or training course
- finding and applying for an apprenticeship
- job search and application help
- CV and interview skills
- drop-ins and job clubs from our local towns
- support in transitioning to the new opportunity
We will help a young person to plan their next steps, prepare to get a job, or find and apply for the right apprenticeship, course and training. Specifically:
- explore and make the most of their options
- support them to make informed choices and decisions
- provide impartial support from a dedicated Education, Employment Adviser
- give help in addressing any barriers
- provide up to date information on apprenticeships, traineeships, and training opportunities
We promote and encourage young people into education, employment and training.
If you know of a young person who needs our support, contact us by:
Telephone: 01225 716 890
Visit Work Wiltshire to register online for the service.
A young people's Sexual Health service offering confidential sexual health and contraception service for 13-24 year olds available at participating venues across Wiltshire.
The service offers:
- emergency hormonal contraception
- pregnancy testing
- condoms and condom demonstration
- chlamydia testing and treatment
- contraception information
- advice and support around sexual health
Young People's Service: 01249 709 400
Comprising the Youth Offending Team, Emerald Team, and Stronger Families Team:
- YOT - supporting young people aged 10-17 who are at risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system, or already offending and been charged with an offence by the police and subject to a Court order
- Emerald - a safeguarding team that supports adolescents at risk of extra-familial harm
- Stronger Families Team - Stronger Families Team is an intensive service working with young people aged 10 -18 and their families who are on the edge of care. The aim is to rebuild young people's relationships with their families. Referrals come into the team from Social Workers or YOT workers
How to make a complaint
Complaints can be submitted:
The Customer Complaints Team