What type of referral are you making?

This page is for professionals. If you are a member of the public or a parent, visit Report a concern about a child or a teenager.

Referrals to the Single Point of Advice (SPOA)

Refer to SPOA any level 4 concerns about:

  • contact or online sexual abuse
  • suspected grooming
  • physical abuse, or
  • inappropriate restraint leading to injury

Identify the need for LADO involvement in the report.

Referrals to the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer)

Refer concerns or allegations about conduct directly to the LADO. You can also refer via the police or social care. Concerns can be about:

  • contact with children and young people through social media, personal email or phone
  • emotional abuse, bullying, threats, intimidation or derogatory comments
  • non-sexual contact, which breaches a code of conduct or positive handling policy
  • breeches in safeguarding policies and procedures around professional conduct
  • providing rewards and incentives which are not sanctioned within a code of conduct. And when this singles out particular children or young people to the detriment of others
  • being under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the workplace
  • inappropriate use of work IT equipment in work or at home e.g. viewing adult pornography
  • failure to protect or report a safeguarding concern
  • involvement with Children’s Services for own children. For example, care proceedings or Child Protection Plans
  • domestic abuse
  • private life matters. This could involve:
    - arrest or prosecution for a criminal offence outside of work. This includes sexual offences, violence, drugs, drink driving and fraud. It could be in relation to adults or children.
    - personal involvement with Children’s Services. For example, an employee who has children in care or on child protection plans    

Child on child abuse

You must report concerns about abuse and sexually harmful behaviour between children to:

If staff in a setting have failed to report a concern to their safeguarding lead or this was done late, you should also:

Advice and guidance on managing this in schools is found at:

Mental health and self-harm

You must report cases where there is a risk of significant harm to a young person to:

You can also:

If there are concerns about staff conduct and suitability you should:

More advice on:

Criminal exploitation

You must refer specific concerns about young people to

More guidance in:

Accidents and injuries involving children in settings

Report serious injuries with concerns about:

  • the explanation of the injury or potential injury
  • medication errors where there was a potential risk of significant harm

to the relevant agency, e.g., SPOA, Ofsted, and also the Care Quality Commission.

You should refer concerns about staff neglect or conduct to:

  • the LADO (Allegations about adults who work with children)

Nurseries should refer to guidance from Ofsted in:

Contact arrangements

If you get requests from parents about disputes linked to contact or residence of children, you should:

  • advise them that you are not able to make decisions about unresolved issues and
  • refer to our guidance  (Czone)

Decisions made by social work teams

Send concerns about:

  • a referral not being actioned
  • delays in decision-making
  • case closures

to the practice manager of the social work team involved.