Guidance for professionals, parents and carers to accessing children's services

A summary of safeguarding thresholds


We all want better lives for children and young people. As part of everybody’s responsibility for safeguarding children and considering their welfare, we want to identify vulnerable children and young people earlier and work in a coordinated, integrated way to help them before things reach crisis point.

Our revised guidance Multi-Agency Thresholds for Safeguarding Children provides a model of integrated working within children and young people’s services and gives practical guidance on making decisions across service thresholds. We hope you find this guidance useful.

Supplementary guidance, tools and forms can be found here on and soon on the new look website of the Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board.

Cliff Turner, Independent Chair, Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board
Carolyn Godfrey, Wiltshire Council Corporate Director – Children’s Services and Wiltshire Children and Young People’s Trust

IMPORTANT: If you think a child or young person is at immediate risk of significant harm, or is injured, contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0300 4560108 (out of hours emergency duty: 0845 6070 888) or if there is immediate danger phone 999.

Multi-Agency Thresholds for Safeguarding Children

Key documents:

• Revised Multi-Agency Thresholds for Safeguarding Children: Accessing the right level of support to safeguard children and young people – May 2014 (PDF version) or see the summary guidance online.

Thresholds: Our Roles and Responsibilities (PDF version). This document seeks to describe our roles and that of our colleagues and highlights that we all have a responsibility for ensuring all children and young people achieve positive outcomes and are kept safe from harm.

Thresholds: Accessing Children’s Services (A3 poster).

Supplementary guidance:

• Accessing Children’s Services: Guidance for parents and carers

• Accessing Children’s Services: Guidance for families being supported by Children’s Social Care

South West Child Protection Procedures

• Assessment tools: The CAF Pre-assessment Checklist, the Assessment Triangle and the Wiltshire Wheel (sometimes referred to as the Wiltshire Web).

• Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): Launched on 1 May 2014, this new service is the single point of contact for reporting all safeguarding concerns when a child or young person is thought to be at significant risk of harm, abuse or neglect. This service replaces the children’s social care Referral & Assessment Team. Access information and further details can be seen on the Wiltshire Council website

• Common Assessment Framework: The CAF and Social Care Protocol This may also be referred to as the "Step up, Step Down" process. Effective use of the Early Help CAF process and strong integrated working by targeted services should ensure that Children’s Social Care are able to focus resources on those children and young people who are most at risk of significant harm, abuse or neglect. This Protocol sets out how the MASH Team works closely with the CAF Team to ensure that support is provided at the most appropriate level.

Escalation Policy - Know what to do if professional disagreements arise in work relating to the safety of children (note Wiltshire's Escalation Policy now differs to the one from South West Child Protection Procedures).

What to do if you suspect serious abuse or neglect (flowchart).

CAF Pathway for expectant young mums (flowchart). Full guidance on practice standards for young mums can be found in our document library.

• Guidance for referring to child and adolescents mental health services

Thresholds poster – Young People’s version

Becoming a Lead Professional Guidance on the role and protocol for the appointment of a Lead Professional for an Early Help CAF (when a child of young person has multiple needs and requires help from more than one service).


Please refer to the revised Multi-Agency Thresholds for Safeguarding and supplementary documents above for guidance on when and how to use these forms. Remember, information sharing with consent from the parent (or young person if appropriate) is required unless there is evidence of serious harm or neglect.

SARF - Specific Agency Referral Form (formerly called the Single Agency referral Form).

NEW Early Help CAF Form – launched September 2014, together with an example of a ‘good’ Early Help CAF for reference.

Please also see our guide to completing a CAF Form along with the DfE’s guide to CAF Form definitions. Our Best practice standards for CAFs may also be useful to you.

TAC Delivery Plan and CAF Review Form.

Referral to Gateway Form – please contact the CAF Helpline on 01225 713884 to discuss whether approaching the Gateway Panel is the best way to proceed.

Request for Referral to Children’s Social Care (also known as the ‘notification to social care form’).

IMPORTANT: If you think a child or young person is at immediate risk of significant harm, or is injured, contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0300 4560108 (out of hours emergency duty: 0845 6070 888) or if there is immediate danger phone 999.

Key contacts:

TeamContact details
CAF Team 01225 713884 (9-5 Mon-Fri)
Early Years 01225 757950
SEN Support Service 01225 718095
Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 0300 4560108
Emergency Duty Service (Safeguarding) 0845 6070 888 (out of hours service)

Remember: Information sharing with consent from the parent (or young person if appropriate) is required unless there is evidence of serious harm or neglect.

The CAF Team

The new CAF Team are there to support and advise professionals during the CAF process. The team:

• Run a Monday to Friday (9-5) CAF helpline on 01225 713884
• Quality assure all registered CAFs.
• Attend the Multi-Agency Fora (MAFs) operating in each community area
• Deliver area based training
• Attend the Gateway Panel (where referrals for intensive family and parenting support are reviewed)
• Support the process of ‘step downs’ and’ step ups’ to the Children & Families Social Care Service

Each CAF Coordinator has responsibility for a specific area of the county. This will help each coordinator develop working relationships with colleagues in their areas and more in-depth local knowledge which should contribute to more effective support.

CoordinatorArea Direct Line/Mobile Email Helpline (9-5) 01225 713884 /
Dawne DawesSouth01225 757993 / 07500
Paul HoldsworthNorth01225 757956 / 07500
Richard HarrisGateway Panel01225 757962 / 07825
Vicki MarshEast01225 757978 / 07500
Michelle RileyWest01225 757990 / 07778

(Important note: Do not send personal or confidential content to non-secure email addresses)

West covers Bradford on Avon, Melksham, Trowbridge, Westbury and Warminster community areas
South covers Amesbury, Durrington, Downton, Mere, Tisbury, Wilton and Salisbury community areas
East covers Devizes, Marlborough, Pewsey and Tidworth community areas
North covers Calne, Corsham, Chippenham, Malmesbury and Wootton Bassett community areas

CAF Register enquiries: 01225 713884

Address to send completed signed CAFs for registration:
Wiltshire Council DCE
Coordination Team
County Hall
Wiltshire BA14 8JN

Monitoring CAF effectiveness

For completion once the CAF has been closed:
Parent Questionnaire
Young Person Questionnaire
Child Questionnaire
Lead Professional Questionnaire


A variety of training courses which support integrated working and early intervention can be found in our Training section . To apply for a course you will need to register with us and activate your account (just once). After you have successfully registered you can apply for multiple courses, track your training history and cancel your place online.

Key acronyms:

TeamContact details
CAF Common Assessment Framework
(P)CAMHS (Primary) Child and Adolescent Mental Health
CP Child Protection
EDS Children’s Social Care Emergency Duty Service
EYIO Early years Inclusion Officers
LON Level of Need
MAF Multi-Agency Forum
MATD Multi-Agency Thresholds Document 2011 (forerunner to the February 2013 Revised Multi-Agency Thresholds guidance)
MASH Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
SARF Specific Agency Referral Form
SENSS Special Educational Needs Support Service
TAC Team Around the Child

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