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Starting Point contact and referral service

Starting Point is Derbyshire's contact and referral service for children's services.

The following list shows how universal, early help (additional and intensive) and specialist services in Derbyshire are provided and how support is made available at each level of need for children and young people and their families.

Level 1 - universal open access to provision

Unborn babies, children and young people who make good overall progress in most areas of development and receive appropriate universal services, such as health care and education. They may also use leisure and play facilities, housing or voluntary services.

Level 2 - emerging needs

Unborn babies, children and young people whose needs require some extra co-ordinated support from more than one agency. These services should work together to agree what extra help may be needed to support a child or young person at an early stage. There's no need for intensive or specialist services.

Level 3 - intensive

Vulnerable unborn babies, children and young people and those who have a disability. Children and young people whose needs are more complex. This refers to the range, depth or significance of the needs. A number of these indicators would need to be present to indicate need at a level 3 criteria.

More than one service is likely to become involved. It's expected that the updated early help assessment will provide clear analysis and rationale for both the family and other services that Level 3 Intensive threshold has now been met.

If it was considered that the team around the family (TAF) plan had not met the child or family's emerging needs and that threshold for level 3 intervention was met, consideration would be given to the role of intensive services being offered through children's services early help team or the completion of a single assessment by a qualified social worker.

Level 4 - specialist

Unborn babies, babies, children, young people and families whose needs are complex and enduring and cross many domains. More than one service is normally involved, with all professionals involved on a statutory basis with qualified social workers as the professional leads. It's usually local authority children's social care who act as the lead agency.

Urgent referrals

If a child or young person is in immediate danger tel: 999.

If you're concerned that a child is suffering or is at risk of significant harm please contact Call Derbyshire immediately, tel: 01629 533190.

All other referrals from professionals should be completed using the request for support form.

Request for support


Prior to making a non-urgent referral, practitioners are advised to read the Derby City and Derbyshire threshold document. Practitioners should also follow their own organisational safeguarding guidance ahead of making referrals.

It's expected that all practitioners undertake early help work with families ahead of making a referral to social care unless there is evidence that a child is at immediate risk of harm.

Consent and information sharing

Wherever possible, practitioners should seek consent and be open and honest with the child and family from the outset as to why, what, how and with who, their information will be shared. Practitioners should seek consent where an individual may not expect their information to be passed on. Consent to share must be explicit and freely given.

Advice line

If you're a practitioner seeking advice ahead of making a referral you can contact a social worker, tel: 01629 535353.

The Starting Point inbox is monitored Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm excluding bank holidays. If you need an urgent response outside these hours or if you are concerned that a child is suffering, or is at risk of, significant harm, please contact Call Derbyshire, tel: 01629 533190 immediately

Complete a request for support form

Members of the public

If you're a member of the public with a concern please contact Call Derbyshire, tel: 01629 533190. One of the call handlers will discuss and identify with you the right services that will help to meet the family's needs.

Request information

You can make a request for information relating to:

  • you
  • someone you hold legal responsibility or authority for
  • somebody that you are currently working with as a professional and have consent for
Make a request for information