Report concerns about a child - for professionals

If you are a professional and have concerns about a child or young person in Reading and need to let us know, or make a referral, you are in the right place. The Children’s Single Point of Access (CSPoA) is where to raise a concern about a child (pre-birth to 18 years old) in Reading.

There is a separate page here for members of the public to report concerns, or they can click on the button on the right.

This page gives professionals details on how to contact us or make a referral if a child or young person in Reading:

  • may need additional support
  • may be being abused or neglected
  • needs safeguarding of any kind.

Referring a child or young person to us

If you are a professional (teaching staff, GP, police officer, health worker or anyone else working with children and young people), you should complete the following notification form. Referrals will not be accepted via email:

Children’s Single Point of Access (CSPoA) multi-agency notification form

If you suspect there is immediate danger call 999 first, then us ( 0118 937 3641, Option 1,  Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, line includes out of hours contact details) and complete this form within 24 hours of doing so.

Please note: Due to security constraints, you can’t save the form, so you will need as much information to hand as possible. This includes:

  • Details on each child/young person in the family including date of birth, NHS number (if known).
  • Detail of parents/carers including those that do not live in the same household as the child/young person
  • Education setting(s), including address and contact details for the designated/safeguarding lead (or point of contact for this notification)
  • GP details
  • Other agencies working with the child/young person and family including names, telephone numbers and email addresses.

To meet data protection rules as outlined in the GDPR guidance, the person completing the notification form must obtain consent.

Useful Q&As for professionals

The Children’s Single Point of Access (CSPoA) is a multi-agency safeguarding team which operates as the ‘front door service’ for Brighter Futures for Children.  All contacts received in respect of concerns about a child who resides in Reading (from pre-birth to 18 years old) come in through CSPoA.

This includes requests for early help and prevention, support for children with disabilities, safeguarding and child protection.

CSPoA co-ordinates incoming contacts and ensures that they follow the appropriate pathway according to the child or young person’s needs, applying the agreed thresholds for access to services in line with the BFfC threshold criteria.

CSPoA also makes sure that information is gathered and shared effectively between different agencies and with service users, so the most appropriate decisions are made regarding the level of need and the response required.

Having a single point of access allows us to make timely, informed and evidence-based decisions to ensure a child or young person’s safety. The CSPoA has been developed in partnership with services across Reading and Berkshire, including police, health and education – who are all represented within the CSPoA team.

By using the web form an automatic reply will assure you that your contact has been received and you will receive a reference number for future communication.

If more information is required immediately then the team will contact you to discuss the child.

Within two working days the information will be reviewed, and a decision made on who is best to help the child/ family. You will be contacted to confirm the decision that has been taken.

If you’re a professional concerned about parents you’re working with that are experiencing relationship difficulties, please see these parental conflict resources and guidance. Also visit the Parenting page on the Family Information Service website for other options.

Please email OneReading@brighterfuturesforchildren.org.uk and we will get back to you to explore support that is available from the One Reading Hub or to discuss the early help assessment.

Support is provided at threshold 2A. To understand more about the threshold levels that assessments will be based on, read this guide.

This is for children who are unlikely to achieve or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health or development will be significantly impaired without the provisions of services; or children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. They may require longer term intervention from statutory, specialist or integrated targeted services.

The Early Help Assessment can be used as supporting evidence to gain specialist or targeted support.

Please email OneReading@brighterfuturesforchildren.org for further information, advice and support.

Concerns about children who may be young carers would generally fall within Level 2 of the threshold guidance under Age inappropriate caring responsibilities.

As such, the threshold guidance provides the following advice:

  1. If you believe the child falls within this level please contact the One Reading Children & Young People’s Partnership, using the following email address – OneReading@brighterfuturesforchildren.org

The Children’s Single Point of Access (CSPoA) team will review the needs of the child, young person and their family and this should lead to:

· Follow up from the One Reading Partnership Coordinator

· Invitation to a Partnership Hub meeting

· Provision of advice and guidance

· An allocation of a Brighter Futures for Children Early Help service

 A process chart is available in The Children’s Single Point of Access Pathway section of the threshold guidance document.

What happens once you have made contact

You will receive an automated reply once you have completed the CSPoA multi-agency notification form. You may be contacted by the team to provide more information. We will let you know what course of action we intend taking within two working days.

Deciding if you need to raise a concern

The Berkshire West Safeguarding Children Partnership (BWSCP) has provided the helpful Reading Threshold Guidance Booklet  that breaks down the decision making process. For full information, advice and guidance please use the BWSCP Threshold Page.

Contacting our Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

If you believe a person in a position of trust is abusing a child or young person in any way, you can contact our Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). More information on this can be found here.