If you, a family member or your child are at immediate risk of harm, call 999.
If you’re worried about the safety of your child or any member of your family then you can contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). MASH is the central resource for the whole of Devon for all child safeguarding enquiries. It’s staffed with professionals from a range of agencies including health, mental health, education, social care, police, early years, youth offending and domestic abuse services. They can help to find you the right support.
If your child has a social worker, contact them or if you can’t get hold of them, call the duty social worker. If you have an adopted child or are fostering a child, or you’re getting support from disabled children’s services, there people you can contact too. Talk to them about what’s happening and what your concerns are and ask for help and support.
- Children’s social care
If you know the name of the person you need to speak to, ring 01392 383000 and say the name when you’re asked to. You can reach the emergency Duty Service on 0345 600 0388.
- Disabled Children Service
If you already have a named person supporting your child, they should be your first point of contact. If not, you can contact the support and advice duty number on 01392 385276.
- Adopt South West
Telephone advice and support line open from 9.00am-4.00pm Monday-Friday, 0345 155 1076.
- Fostering Devon
Contact your supervising social worker or the Fostering Devon Duty Line on 01392 381491.
“You need to request an assessment in the usual way. Our timescales for assessment haven’t changed, but it is likely that some of the contact we will have with families will be virtual in order to minimise the risk to everyone.
If you have recently made a request for an assessment or had confirmation an assessment will be completed and you feel the situation is deteriorating, please get in touch with either the Single Point of Access (for new referrals) or the duty number for the relevant team.
Support and Advice Duty: 01392 385276
Exeter, East & Mid Social Work Team Duty: 01392 386183
South Social Work Team Duty: 01392 381270
North Social Work Team Duty: 01271 384180”
If your child has been at home rather than in school until now, but your situation at home changes, it doesn’t mean they have to stay at home. Talk to the SENCO or your child’s teacher. If your child isn’t safe at home and is putting themselves or others at risk, then they may need to be in school or college during school hours. If they have an EHC plan, the school will do a risk assessment and talk to you about meeting their needs. If they don’t have an EHC plan, then the staff at school also need to assess them and see whether school may be the safest place for them.
You can also ask for an early help assessment. This can help to identify the kind of support you might need, and which services might be best able to help you. You can ask a professional such as a teacher to contact the early help team or make a referral, or you can contact local area teams directly
. Meeting face to face is won’t be possible but online and telephone support is likely to be.
Do whatever you can to calm things at home. You know your child best, so do whatever is likely to work for them and not lead to further escalation. You could think about creating a safe space for them and you, do sensory activities, allow them time apart to calm down or give them time in to connect with you. Some families find that limiting screen time helps as does getting outside for exercise. If you get help from other services or therapists, contact them to ask how they can support you too.
The specialist Communication and Interaction team in Devon have published information about how to manage if your child is anxious, becomes overwhelmed, is at risk of running away or doesn’t understand why it’s important to stay at home.