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Making a request for support

A request for support is the name given to professionals contacting our Front Door to report a safeguarding concern or to request targeted level 3 support for a Family Intervention Worker, a Youth Intervention Worker or support from a children’s centre.

Professional Consultation line

If you remain unclear about whether a referral should be made you can ring our consultation line. This line is for professional use only and can be found on our intranet and in-house correspondence.

When you reach out to the professional consultation line, you will be greeted by an experienced Social Worker who will collect essential information, including:

  • The name of your organisation.
  • An overview of the concerns you hold and the child’s age.
  • The time when the call was made.

To make the consultation process as effective as possible, it would be beneficial to have certain details readily available for the Social Worker, such as:

  • The age of the child you are concerned about.
  • Any previous concerns you may have had for this child.
  • Information about any support/intervention offered or provided by your organisation.
  • Whether the child has any siblings.

Your query will be thoroughly discussed and all information pertaining to children and families will remain anonymous. unless the information shared raises clear safeguarding concerns. In instances where safeguarding concerns are evident, you will be asked to submit an online referral using the online referral form. If the concerns indicate that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, immediate details will be recorded during the call. Nevertheless, you will still be required to complete the online referral form within four hours of your initial contact.

Please be aware that the consultation line will no longer offer a call-back feature and will be accessible during the following hours:

  • Monday to Thursday (excluding bank holidays), from 9am to 4pm
  • Fridays from 9am-3pm

The consultation line will help provide our partner agencies with support and guidance on any concerns held and offer supplementary solutions on how to work with children and families. It will further support proportionate referrals to the Front Door and help us to ensure we can deal with your request quickly and get the right support to the child and family in a timely manner.

Things to remember

  • Ensure that any early help plan in place has been given sufficient time and support to enable the family to make any changes required.
  • You should discuss your concerns, in full, with all parents/carers and then seek their consent to submit a request for support. You should not seek consent if you believe that to do so would increase the risk of harm to the child. Please give clarity
  • You should also discuss your concerns and seek advice from your line manager and/or the safeguarding lead within your agency.

If you believe that the concerns require an urgent response, please telephone MASH on 0345 155 1071. You will also be required to follow this up promptly by submitting a request for support form.

Things to consider

  • What are the risks and impacts on the child(ren)?
  • What action have you taken to address the risk? Have you considered if any of the voluntary or community resources can help to reduce the risk?
  • Outline resilience and protective factors – what strengths and successes can you help the child(ren)/family build on (strengths and risks)
  • What changes would you need to see in the family to be assured that the risk of harm has reduced?
  • Views of the child
  • Views of the parent
  • Did you have anything else you wanted to share?

For help assessing the safeguarding risk to children, read and download our Level of Need tool. This will help you identify the level of need.

Submitting a request for support

Requests for support should be made using the online form. Please ensure you:

  • Speak to the parent/carer first wherever possible
  • include as much information as possible and be succinct
  • include a summary of current and historical concerns alongside outlining what support has been put in place to address these
  • record what outcomes you are seeking from the request and what support is needed from children’s services.

If you believe that the concerns require an urgent response, please telephone MASH on 0345 155 1071. You will also be required to follow this up promptly by submitting a request for support form.

Read our quick tips for making a MASH contact.

After submitting a request for support

Once you have submitted your request, it will be triaged and assessed by our team of professionals and you will be informed of the outcome. The team may contact you to gain more information. If you need to contact the team about your request, please ensure that you quote the unique reference number that was sent to you when you submitted the form.

Please continue to work with other agencies to support the family with any needs or concerns.

Emergency duty service

Out of hours contact number: 0345 6000 388

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday, 5.00pm – 9.00am
  • Friday to Monday, 4.00pm – 9.00am
  • Bank Holidays, 24 hours

The Emergency duty service provides emergency social care response in Devon for vulnerable Adults, Children and young people outside of normal office hours.

The team is comprised of experienced social care professionals and support staff who have a vast range of skills and knowledge to support individuals and their families experiencing crisis.

Data protection

Devon County Council (DCC) will act as the data controller for any personal data that you provide. DCC will ensure that the data is processed under the Data Protection Act 2018. More information about how this is done is available here.


If you are worried about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in Devon,
please complete the request for support online form.


If you think that the child is at risk of significant harm,
contact our Front Door directly by calling 0345 155 1071.


In an emergency call 999.