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LADO Referral Form

As of the 1st September 2015 all professional referrals to the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) for ‘Allegations Against Adults that Work with Children’ will need to be submitted on the referral form below.

It is advised that Part 1 of this form is also used when recording your decision not to refer an incident to the LADO.

If there are concerns that a child is at risk of immediate significant harm, the first action is to call 999. If you are unsure then telephone the Customer Service Centre to discuss on 0300 123 4043.

Please follow your organisation’s policies and procedures for sending confidential emails and attachments (e.g. HertsFX, SchoolsFX, encryption/password protection), to ensure the document is sent securely


Families First & Continuum of Needs

All practitioners working with, and on behalf of, children and families need to take responsibility for ensuring everything possible is done to prevent the unnecessary escalation of issues or problems by seeking early intervention. The 'Continuum of Need’ document aims to provide guidance about thresholds to help ensure that the right response is given, by the right services, at the right time.

families firstFamilies First is Hertfordshire's programme of early help services for families. It is aimed at taking action to support a child, young person or their family, as soon as a problem emerges. This can be at any stage in a child's life from pre-birth to adulthood and applies to any problem or need that the family cannot deal with on their own.

A whole directory of early help services at will help you find the information and support you and your family need. This is the first step towards simplifying your journey to get help early before a situation becomes a crisis.

Please refer to the Families First Leaflet below:

Practitioners Area

The practitioners area supports the Families First vision for partner agencies to work together, make the best use of shared resources and continually grow a resource of quality material for the wider workforce
This library of information, forms and templates and examples of best practice for professionals is being developed with contributions by all partners. See:

Families First Portal - Covering Letter to Partner Agencies
Families First Portal - Practitioners Postcard E-Copy
Families First Portal - Carers Postcard E-Copy

Subscribe to Families First News at:

Families First Assessment (FFA)

In Hertfordshire, the Families First Assessment (FFA) is our early intervention multi-agency single assessment tool. The FFA is used by practitioners who work with children, young people, parents and carers. It is used to identify needs, and to organise the right support and services to address those needs at an early stage. The FFA process allows different agencies and services to share information and work together in a coordinated way. FFAs are voluntary, and require consent from parents or carers before they can begin.

The FA process is designed to address needs which require a multi-agency response. FFAs can and should be started by any practitioner who has identified additional needs amongst any of the children, young people or families that they work with. The FFA process uses a "whole family" approach, which allows everyone's needs to be taken into account, in order to make a lasting difference. However, FFAs in Hertfordshire can also be used to assess individuals and their needs.

The Families First Assessment (FFA) will replace the existing CAF.  It will be hosted on the Early Help Module (EHM). Please be aware that you MUST have completed the EHM training before completing a new user form.

After EHM and the Families First Assessment are introduced they will used for any new cases. Existing CAF cases which are open on eCAF will remain on that system until they close.

Please note your local Senior CAF Coordinators and CAF Coordinators will continue to provide advice, guidance and practice support across both eCAF system and the new Early Help Module (EHM) system.

Who to Contact

If you have any queries or need support with the Early Help Module system, please email the Families First Partnership, Practice and Development Team:
Telephone: 01438 737575

For details of your local Families First Coordinator and the support that they can provide, please refer to:

Families First Impact and Action Meeting
Families First Workforce Shadowing
Frequently Asked Questions - Families First
IDWP mediation and Couples Counselling Pilot

Children in families with high levels of parental conflict are shown to have a higher risk of negative outcomes. Hertfordshire County Council has commissioned two organisations to provide free counselling and mediation to parents who want to improve their relationship (whether they are together or apart). These new services are currently operating as a pilot during 2016-17 for Broxbourne, Stevenage, Watford, Hertsmere and Welwyn Hatfield.

Please note this is for Families First (and not those families involved with children’s social care).

If DSPs have families in the areas not listed on the information sheet, please make the referral anyway, as there may be scope to support other areas depending on demand.

Commissioned Services Communcations
Workforce Shadowing Information Sheet

Families First Training

Effective Assessments Flyer
Herts Young Homeless Flyer
Let’s Talk about Work Flyer


Young Carers' Referral Checklist Guidance

Young Carers are children/young people who have a caring responsibility for a family member who they live with, who is disabled, has mental health issues, a learning disability, drug or alcohol issues or severe ill health.

For information on available services and guidance on how to make a referral please 'click' on the attachment below: