It is important to keep the referrer involved. They should be contacted by children’s social care within 24 hours of referral, even if nothing has yet been decided about the best course of action.
Teachers making referrals should if possible be told by 3 pm the same day what action, if any, children’s social care will be taking; otherwise they must be contacted at the start of the following school day.
When getting back to a member of the public who has made a referral, you must consider issues of confidentiality, but balance these with the need to assure them that suitable action is taking place or to inform them why it is not. [WTSC 5.35]
How to do it
Feedback should be given by telephone to enable the referrer to ask questions or give any additional information that may be useful. Consider whether your telephone conversation should be followed up by a letter setting out (subject to observing confidentiality) what action was taken and thanking the referrer.
Be prepared to reconsider your decision if the referrer gives you more information.
Lessons from research
In many cases, children who have needs, and who have been the subject of child protection inquiries, do not get offered services once it has been decided that they are not at risk of significant harm. See Child protection: Messages from Research, HMSO (1995).