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Frequently Asked Questions – Children’s Reception Team (CRT)

Who are the Children’s Reception Team? And what do they do?

The Children’s Reception team – or CRT – are a team of Childrens Social Care childcare practitioners who are based in Fareham. They are responsible for the processing of all referrals where concerns about a child have been identified. CRT will manage all referrals from a range of individuals to include professionals / families / carers, for example, who have a child welfare or more serious child protection concern. CRT are the first point of contact within Hampshire County Council and the Isle of Wight Council where staff will triage the information referred, where risk and protective factors will be considered, and individual outcomes identified. CRT staff will use the Hampshire threshold chart to determine whether the child’s case is closed with no further action, transferred on to Early Help for Level 2 & 3 intervention or whether the child’s case needs additional enquiries to be made within the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

I am unclear as to whether a child’s case is open to Children Services, what should I do?

If you are a Head Teacher / Designated Safeguarding Lead from a Hampshire Maintained School, you can access this information using the Child Portal without the need to contact CRT. The Child Portal will only identify whether a child is open and who the allocated key worker is. The Child Portal will not provide any case information related to the current involvement. Information can be obtained using this link: Child Portal .

The Child Portal is available to the majority of HCC maintained schools who will have access if they are using Hampshire County Council Networks. If you are a Head Teacher/ Designated Safeguarding lead from an Independent School or Academy within Hampshire and do not have access to the Child Portal, then you will need to make contact directly with CRT.

All other professionals should contact CRT using the Inter Agency Referral Form (IARF). Access to the (IARF) can be made through this link: Inter-Agency Referral Form.

I am a professional who requires information from CRT as a matter of urgency, what should I do?

If you work in an acute front line setting for example and need to confirm whether there are any known or open safeguarding concerns before you discharge a child to the care of a parent / carer,  you can use the CRT professionals’ line or Out of Hours telephone number to establish this information. Both CRT & Out of Hours will be able to direct you to the allocated social worker if the child already has an allocated worker. If you decide that you are discharging a child and believe they require additional services / support, then you will need to complete the (IARF) and this will be processed by CRT.

I am unsure whether to make a referral what should I do?

Information to support you can be found on the Hampshire County Council Website Report child abuse.  If you have an immediate safeguarding concern for a child or young person that has suffered significant harm or is likely to suffer immediate significant harm, then contact should be made with CRT  by telephone and supplemented with an Inter-Agency Referral Form. Also, further information regarding harm to a child can be found at the Hampshire Safeguarding Childrens Partnership website: Hampshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership and the

Isle of Wight Safeguarding Children’s Partnership

Should I let parents / carers know that I have contacted CRT to make a referral, or that I am concerned about the welfare / safety of a child?

Yes, you should always make parents / carers aware you have contacted CRT due to concerns / worries about a child prior to contacting CRT. Whilst it is appreciated this may impact upon parental / professional relationships it is important that parents / carers understand your concerns and reasons why you have contacted CRT. However, if you believe the child is at risk of harm or has suffered significant harm, then in this instance DO NOT contact parents/ carers and or advise them that you have contacted this department as other safeguarding procedures will be initiated. CRT / MASH in this instance will be able to provide additional advice to you on an individual basis.

Can I remain anonymous if I make a referral to CRT?

Members of the public can contact CRT and remain anonymous if they would prefer. Whilst CRT / MASH will always do their utmost to keep the identify of individuals anonymous, there are on occasions times when the information provided by the referrer would lead the parent / carer to identify for themselves who they believe the referral has come from. CRT / MASH would not knowingly divulge this information however given any enquiries being made at a later stage in the process, the parent / carer may themselves identify the source of the referral.

Professionals are not able to remain anonymous if they are making a referral to CRT in a professional capacity. Professionals are expected to discuss referrals being made to CRT with the parents / carers involved prior to contacting CRT. Professionals should not discuss the referral with a parent / carer if the child is being placed at immediate risk of harm or has suffered significant harm.

What is the preferred referral method into CRT for professionals?

The preferred method for referrals is the use of the Inter Agency Referral Form (IARF). This can be found on the Hampshire County Council website. The IARF should be used for all enquiries about a child or family and is also to be used when making Child Protection referrals.  On cases where immediate safeguarding / child protection concerns are evident , professionals are required to make initial telephone contact with CRT using the  telephone number above  and supplement the telephone call with a completed IARF: Inter-Agency Referral form

What is the telephone number for CRT?

 If you are a professional and have concerns because you think that a child might be being neglected and / or abused and you want to talk to someone or ask someone to find out what is going on, you should contact CRT on the following number:

  • Hampshire Professionals Line 01329 225379 during office hours 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday
  • Phone 0300 555 1373 at all other times to contact the Out of Hours service
  • Hampshire parents / carers and or others phone 0300 555 1384 during office hours 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday
  • IOW Professionals Line 0300 300 0901 during office hours 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday
  • IOW parents / carers and or others phone 0300 300 0117 during office hours 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday
  • Phone 0300 555 1373 at all other times to contact the Out of Hours service

What happens after I have made a referral using the IARF / completed a telephone call to CRT?

CRT staff will complete a full case summary on the information that has been provided in the IARF and or telephone conversation. CRT will complete the relevant risk assessments and will make a recommendation to the Team Manager for further enquiries to be completed in MASH, or the child’s case to transfer to Early Help, or to be closed.

CRT will record all information that is provided to the service. CRT will create an electronic file for the children concerned where the referral information will be stored electronically. Therefore, if you contact CRT for any reason you will need to be aware that any information you have provided will be documented accordingly.

How quickly are IARF submissions triaged by CRT ?

For all matters where the child is not at immediate risk of harm, then the  IARF should be used and submitted to CRT.  All IARF’s are electronically sent to the CRT inbox where you will be provided with a reference number. You will also be given the opportunity to save a PDF version of the completed IARF for your records.

The inbox is manned by CRT staff between the hours of 08:30 – 17:00 Monday – Thursday and 08:30- 16:30 Fridays. All IARF’s are triaged by CRT staff as they enter the email inbox during the above hours. If you submit an IARF outside of these hours, then they will be triaged the next working day. If you are wanting to make a child protection referral, then this MUST also be telephoned through to CRT via the professional line / Out of Hours telephone number to avoid any delay with the case waiting to be triaged.

Following the triaging of the IARF, CRT will seek to deal with your enquiry as soon as possible. IARF’s will usually be managed within 24 – 48 hours, however during peak busy periods this time may increase.  CRT will contact you if they require additional information in order to process your IARF.

 Will feedback on my IARF / telephone referral be provided?

Where a child’s case has been managed in CRT and closed at that point, feedback will NOT be provided to the referrer.  Where a decision has been made and the case transferred into MASH (see further information below), you will receive feedback on the following:

  • For cases that have met threshold for a MASH investigation and the decision has been made to close the child’s case, the referrer will receive a letter which will advise the child’s case has been closed to MASH.  (provided a correct email address has been given)
  • If the child’s case meets the criteria for either a S.47 or S.17 Child & Family Assessment and progresses to one of the district teams for an r assessment, then the relevant Child Assessment and Safeguarding team (CAST) or Disabled Childrens Team (DCT) will contact you to advise you of this. Feedback will be not be provided by CRT/MASH.

Will I receive feedback about a child/family that I have sent an IARF on and the decision is to transfer the child’s case directly to Early Help?

You won’t receive feedback from CRT on anything they do. You will only receive feedback on a referral if it goes on to MASH an if MASH resolve the matter and close it.