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Early Help Referral to Assessment & Intervention Team (A&I)

Team Restructuring

The Integrated Referral and Assessment Team (IRAT) has been replaced by 2 teams:

The Integrated Referral Team (IRT) is the ‘front door’

The Assessment & Intervention Team (A&I) receive referrals for assessment from the Integrated Referral Team (IRT) and hold cases for longer. Where a CiN plan is required the case remains in A&I until closure is appropriate or escalation to CP plan or LAC plan becomes necessary.

AMENDMENT

In June 2019, this chapter was updated to reflect revised local structure arrangements.


Referrals to A&I should be discussed direct with a line or duty manager and will typically include (a) understanding of/consultation with the Tier 3 threshold document, and (b) a telephone conversion with a duty social worker in IRAT on Ext 2653. Referrals following this route will include immediate child protection concerns (critical that staff understand that consent may not be required for this level/type of risk) and safeguarding concerns where there is no immediate risk to the child and no recent (previous 6 months) social work assessment.

Referrals should be made on the Contact/Referral document and reassigned to the A&I Desktop at EV2. The family must be informed that the case is to be referred to IRAT prior to making the referral. The link worker must compile or update the chronology alongside the referral – as soon as possible or within 1 working day.

If the case is accepted for assessment, the link worker and social worker will negotiate the role for Early Help. In most cases, support for the family will continue form Early Help. The social worker will be added as the main worker for the case during assessment. Early help worker will be moved to co-worker. If the assessment outcome is to transfer the case back to Early Help then the Early Help worker will attend the CIN Outcome meeting with the social worker, family and other professionals to agree a revised plan. A new Request for Early Help document from the social worker is not required in this scenario.

If the case transfers to the Safeguarding and Care Planning Team the case will close to Early Help and a Closure Summary and chronology should be completed.

Where the family have been subject to a social work assessment within the previous 6 months, the line or duty manager should contact the duty Safeguarding and Care Planning manager to discuss the proposed referral – see process below.

Where referrals have been judged not to meet Tier 3 thresholds, staff should speak to an Early Help Team Manager to discuss the appropriateness of challenging the decision. If the case is to remain with Early Help, a Manager’s Decision should be added detailing the actions required to manage the risks at Tier 2. Management oversight should be maintained in and between supervision dates. High-risk cases are also discussed at weekly MALT (Early Help Management Team) meetings.

Early Help referral to Safeguarding and Care Planning

If A&I Team have assessed the case in the previous 6-months, a discussion will need to take place with the Safeguarding and Care Planning Team. Early Help managers will need to speak with the duty manager in SGCP to discuss the referral. Find out which SGCP manager is on duty via SGCPAdmin@gateshead.gov.uk or calling Ext 2530/3380/3908 (SGCP Admin) or (Managers) 2511/2547/3468.

A Contact/Referral record should be assigned to the ESGCP (+ duty team number) desktop and arrangements made for the SGCP manager to attend a TAF meeting or joint visit. Consent from the family should be secured.

End