What to do if you're concerned about the safety or welfare of a friend or someone you know.
If you think they may be in immediate danger, left alone or missing, contact the police directly and/or an ambulance using
What should I do if I am worried or concerned?
If you are worried or concerned about something that has happened to you, a friend or someone you know, please call us on 0300 126 1000.
What is the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub?
Various professionals from different organisations work together in the MASH, including social care, police and the NHS. By working together, we are able to share and use information to help us to decide on the best course of action in relation to your concern.
Out of hours
If you need to contact children's social care urgently during the evening, at night or at the weekend, phone our out of hours team on 01604 626938.
What happens when you report a concern with us?
When you report a concern about someone's welfare, it goes to our dedicated team of child protection professionals known as the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). Over 60 people from different organisations work together in the MASH, including social care, police, NHS, education, and probation services.
By working together, we're able gather and collate information quickly to make informed decisions about the risks posed to a child or young person and to decide on the most appropriate response.
A Single Assessment takes place when you, or someone who knows you, has asked for help or is worried about you and your family. You can find out more by clicking on the box below:
Why are you having an assessment?
Either you, or someone who knows you, has asked for help or is worried about you and your family.
A Single Assessment of your situation will help us to agree with you what help and support you and your family might need and who might best give this help.
What is a Single Assessment?
To help us in our work with you, we need to know more about you and your family. Your social worker, with help from you, your family and other agencies, will gather information on your situation. We call this a ‘Single Assessment’.
Your family’s written agreement will be needed before we speak to other people or other agencies.
How long will it take?
A Single Assessment is completed when there is enough information to make a decision about what support you may need
The length and depth of the assessment will be agreed by your social worker and their manager.
If we are going to continue with the assessment beyond 10 days, a meeting will be arranged for us to meet with you, and all the other agencies who are involved with your family, to agree a plan of work. This is where you will meet the social worker who will ensure the actions agreed at the meeting are carried out and completes the Single Assessment.
During our involvement with your family, we may need to refresh the Single Assessment to reflect the current situation.
What will happen?
Your social worker will talk with you and members of your family to help them to complete the Single Assessment.
Information gathered will be written down and some forms will be filled in. These forms record details about you, including your health, education, development and home life. Your social worker will talk with you about the information they have gathered and they will listen to what you have to say about it.
Who will be able to see the information about me?
Your safety will be your social worker’s priority. If information comes to light where the social worker is seriously concerned for your welfare, they will have to tell someone. You will be told what your rights are in this situation.
Anything you discuss with your social worker will be recorded within the Single Assessment and held within the organisation; it will only be shared among those needing to know. If there is a need to discuss this information with anyone else, you will be asked if this is okay. You may be asked to sign a consent form. Your social worker will discuss this with you.
If you don’t agree with what is written in the Single Assessment when it is finished, you will be able to record this, or get your social worker to help you record this on the form.
How can you help us?
It is important that you are involved in your Single Assessment. Helping the social worker, where you can, to complete the Single Assessment will help them to see what strengths you and your family have, as well as any areas of difficulty.
What can you expect of us?
- We will listen carefully to what you have to say, offer advice and, where appropriate, support you to deal with the difficulties you and your family may be having.
- We will keep you up to date about what we are doing and thinking during the Single Assessment and afterwards.
- With a little help, most families can sort out their own difficulties and our aim is to help you and your family do that.
What will happen next?
After the Single Assessment is completed, your social worker, with you and your family, will agree a plan of action. A copy of the Single Assessment and the plan will be given to you. If you need it translated into another language this will be arranged for you.
We will try out best to offer any services you need as soon as we can.
Further advice and support
Fearless - This site enables young people to report crime with 100% anonymity
Online safety - How to report online abuse and support on how to stay safe online
Self-harm - Help and support if someone you know is self-harming
Alcohol and drugs - Help and support in dealing with drug and alcohol problems
Radicalisation - How to spot the signs of and report if you think someone you know is being radicalised
Child sexual exploitation - How to spot the signs of and report child sexual exploitation
Missing or homelessness - The Runaway helpline provides information and support to young people before, while and after they are missing
Northamptonshire against domestic and sexual abuse (NADASA) - Support for children and young people who are the victim of or witnessed domestic abuse
Domestic abuse - The help me stay safe programme is designed for children aged 7 to 11 years old who have witnessed domestic abuse
Hate crime - Identifying a hate crime incident and how you can report it.
Neglect - How to spot the signs of neglect and what you can do about it