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2.2 Initial Contacts and Referrals


  1. Definitions
  2. Referrals
  3. Recording
  4. Outcomes

1. Definitions

1.1 The Children and Families Services receive and give information regarding children and their families on a daily basis. This can be in the form of information supplied to log for future reference or requests for information from Children and Families records, which also need to be logged as having been carried out. These are known as ‘Contacts’. Contacts often involve provision of low level information or advice, for instance re-directing members of the public to appropriate services, checks made on records for those intending to work with children or logging information provided for future reference.
1.2 In addition, requests are also received for a service on behalf of children and their families. These are known as ‘Referrals’. There is a need to differentiate between the two types of information to be clear regarding the level of demand on services and what the response has been to requests for service.
1.3 To ensure this differentiation between ‘Contacts’ and ‘Referrals’ is made Children and Families will complete a ‘Contact Record’ (part of the Integrated Children’s System) whenever information is requested or received and when a service is requested for a child. However, when a service is being requested for a child a ‘Referral and Information Record’ will also be completed on ICS.

2. Referrals

2.1 When a referral has been made, a decision must be made within one working day about what response is required. The response may include that no action is required, but that is itself a decision and must be made promptly and recorded. The Initial Response Team is the initial point of contact for all contacts relating to children and families.

The Initial Response Team must decide and record next steps of action within one working day. This decision must normally:

  • Follow discussion with any referring professional/service;
  • Consider information held in any existing records;
  • Involve discussion with other professionals and services as necessary (including the police, where a criminal offence may have been committed against a child).
2.3 This initial consideration of the case must address - on the basis of the available evidence - whether there are concerns about either the child’s health and development or actual and/or potential harm that justifies either a NARRATES CwCN or NARRATES S46. Further action may also include referral to other agencies, the provision of advice or information or no further action.

3. Recording

3.1 Contact Records are usually completed by non social work qualified staff, who are the first point of contact into Children and Families.
3.2 If at the point of completing the ‘Contact Record’, it is clear that there is no request for further services the Record must be closed as ‘No Further Action’. Any information or advice given must be recorded. 

If at the completion of the ‘Contact Record’ a service is being requested from Children and Families, the worker must select ‘Progress to Referral’ and complete the ‘Referral and Information Record’ on ICS. The Initial Response Team Manager or Supervising Social Worker makes this decision.

See also: the Isle of Man Safeguarding Board Procedures, Referrals Procedure.

4. Outcomes

4.1 The Referral and Information Record begins the process of systematic information gathering about CwCN or CwSP and their families. It gathers together the essential information about the child including ethnicity, household composition, Parental Responsibility and agencies currently involved with the child and family. It records the reason for the referral and how it will be responded to by Children and Families. It is therefore a useful tool to both record information gathered as part of the referral process and record Children and Families response to referrals received.
4.2 On completion of the Referral and Information Record a decision regarding the need for NARRATES which would be led by a qualified social worker, must be made and recorded.
4.3 The decision whether to undertake NARRATES must be made with reference to the NARRATES: Professional Operational Guidance.
4.4 Where the Initial Response Team decides to take no further action at this stage, feedback in writing must be provided to the referrer, who must be told of this decision and the reasons for making it.