You are in: School Admin » Pupil Welfare » Child Protection » Referrals to Children's Services » Consultation

Herts County Council logoConsultation Hub for Child Protection Advice

Children’s Services are implementing a single Consultation Hub pilot for schools and Early Years settings in response to recent discussions with schools about how we could strengthen support for referrals and ensure requests for support and safeguarding of children get to the right place, first time.

This will replace the current arrangements for consultations with Child Protection School Liaison Officers (CPSLO) and the Early Help Advice Line .The Consultation Hub will be operated by a Social Worker, a Child Protection School Liaison Officer and a Families First Coordinator and is intended to provide advice on child protection concerns.

If there is an open Family First Assessment, for which you are the keyworker and you need further advice and guidance, please contact your local Families First Coordinators, their contact details can be found on the Families First Portal by clicking on the link:

If you are a key worker leading a Families First intervention and have a child protection concern about the family you are working with or a school/Early Years setting who has a concern that you believe warrants a child protection referral, please contact the Consultation Hub before completing the Child Protection referral form. This may help prevent wasted time for children who need an urgent response or risk alienating families for whom there is a better pathway for support. If you are a health professional, you should consult with their named or designated Safeguarding Lead before making a child protection referral on a case for which you are a key worker.

If you complete a ‘child protection’ referral form and submit it to the Customer Services Centre without discussing it with the Consultation Hub first and there is no obvious imminent risk to the child outlined in the form, it will not be progressed and will be returned to you with a request for you to discuss with the Consultation Hub for advice in the first instance.

The Consultation Hub staff will give advice only and will not progress referrals. If they advise a professional referrer to make a child protection referral, they will record this on the child’s record. If they advise a referral should be made for family support services (Early Help support), they will note the same on the child’s record and referrers will need to complete a ‘Families First Request for Support form (formerly green form). The referrer should note on the referral form they use that a consultation has taken place with the Consultation Hub and that they were advised to make a child protection or Families First request for support referral. This will help Customer Services staff to speed through referrals to the most appropriate team to help or advice.

The Consultation Hub will be open to all schools in the County, including Independent Schools. There will be an expectation that you continue to consult the Continuum of Need and HSCB Child Protection Procedures and your designated safeguarding lead.

The single number to call for consultations is 01438 737511. The Consultation Hub is operational as outlined below

  • Monday to Thursday 9.00am – 5.00pm and 9.00am – 4.00pm on Fridays
  • It is available during term time and school holidays with the exception of Bank Holidays
  • It is operational from Monday 30th of April

Where professionals are concerned that a child may be at imminent risk of significant harm please call 999 for police or make a child protection referral by either calling the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 or complete and submit a child protection referral (red form) to email: protectedreferrals.cs@hertscc.gcsx.gov.uk or protectedreferrals.cs@hertfordshire.gov.uk