Children's Front Door

01904 551900

Call the Front Door

  • if you know of a child who may become vulnerable without additional help and support
  • if you are worried a child or young person is at risk of, or is being, hurt or abused
  • if you want to know about services available to support children and families

What is the Children's Front Door

The Children's Front Door provides professionals and members of the public with advice, information and support about services for children and young people who are vulnerable and at risk. The service aims to help practitioners to deliver the right help to the right children and young people at the right time and support practitioners to work in an integrated way with children, young people and their families.

Who are we?

The Children’s Front Door is made up from three services:

  • the Local Area Team (Early Help);
  • the Referral & Assessment Teams (Children’s Social Care);
  • and the Family Information Service.

What do each of the three services do?

Referral & Assessment Team (Children’s Social Care)

If you are worried that a child or young person is at risk of, or is, being hurt or abused, the Referral & Assessment Team (Social Care) can:

  • take immediate protective action as necessary to child protection concerns
  • undertake assessments of need in complex cases where children and young people may require specialist help and support;

The Child In Need Assessment Teams are also responsible for responding to other enquiries that might require the attention of a social worker but not an initial assessment of need (e.g. access to files requests; background checks on behalf of Cafcass).

Local Area Team

If you are concerned that a child or young person may be vulnerable without additional help or support, the Local Area (Early Help) can:

  • check to see if any other concerns have been raised about the child and whether an agency is already working with them;
  • offer advice and information about services and support available to the child and their family;
  • support practitioners to broker help and support for the child and to identify a lead practitioner.
  • offer advice and information on how practitioners can work together to support a child and their family through an Early Help support plan.

The parent/carer or child or young person (depending on age) must be made aware by you that you are contacting the Advice Team.

Named links for schools and services:

Members of the Local Area Team act as named links for partner agencies, services and schools across the city. They provide information, training and support to help embed integrated working tools and practices and approaches to early intervention in a way that is helpful and supportive of the business, priorities and plans of the service or school. They also offer monthly training on integrated working to any practitioner (Integrated Working Training) and co-ordinate integrated working forums across the city.

School attendance:

The Specialist Advisor: Attendance & Integrated Working, works from the Local Area Team and he, along with Advice Workers, offers support to schools and practitioners with issues around attendance and integrated approaches to working with young people who may be struggling with regular attendance at school. He can provide expert advice on attendance and the legal issues in relation to attendance. Integrated Working and School Attendance

Local Area Teams Information Service

If you want information about services available to children and families, Local Area Teams Information Service (formerly York FIS) can:

  • offer information on childcare or any service that could support a parent or carer in their role.

How do I contact the Children's Front Door?

  • Phone – one number for concerns and enquiries: 01904 551900
  • Email – one email address: 
  • Post – The Children's Advice and Assessment Service, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

If you need to make a safeguarding referral about a child or young person who has been or may be hurt or neglected or who has significant vulnerabilities please use the referral form.

Children’s Social Care need you to use this form because you are best placed to provide the information that Children’s Social Care must have in order to make a timely, proportionate and effective decision about what help and support the child and their parents or carers need. Children’s Social Care will accept telephone referrals where there is an immediate risk to a child but when they do so, you will be asked to complete the referral form within 24 hours with written information confirming that provided by telephone. If you are phoning in a referral, it will help to have the referral form in front of you to act as a guide for the information you will be asked to provide by the Social Worker.

In deciding whether to make a telephone or written referral to Children’s Social Care, please refer to the YorOK Integrated Working Threshold Guidance and the YorOK Thresholds Guide: Practitioner Guide to Referral for advice and support.

What will happen when I contact the Children's Front Door?

Members of the public will be able to choose to speak to a social worker if they have a concern about a child or to speak to Family Information Service (FIS) if they need information on childcare or any service that could support a parent or carer in their role.

Professionals will have the choice of three options:

1. Local Area Teams Information Service (formerly York FIS)

– if the practitioner needs information on childcare or any service that could support a parent or carer in their role. 

2. Local Area Team (or ‘Early Help’) – if the query or concern can be dealt with at an early intervention/early help level and

  • the practitioner needs to find out which other agencies are already involved with the family;
  • needs advice and support with integrated working processes;
  • needs help brokering support from other agencies;
  • or wants to log an assessment process or log information about a child or family where consent has been obtained.

3. Social Care (the Child In Need Assessment Teams) – if the practitioner believes that their concern merits involvement from social care. A social worker will discuss with the practitioner whether the case reaches the threshold for social care or whether an early intervention/early help approach would be more appropriate, in which case the practitioner will be passed to an Advice Worker for further discussion and support. Practitioners are invited to consult the Integrated Working Threshold Guidance on the Integrated Working pages of the YorOk Website for further guidance on whether their concern needs discussion with Social Care or with the Advice Team.

Contact us

Children's Front Door
West Offices, Station Rise, York. YO1 6GA

01904 551900