Skip to main content

Making a referral

Children and Families Hub

Essex Effective Support provides access to an online Request for Support portal. This website brings together in one place the Essex Directory of Services, guidance and tools to support practitioners in their work with children and families across Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Windscreen of Need.

How to request support for / report a concern about a child through the Children and Families Hub

If you are concerned that a child or young person is being harmed or neglected, or is at risk of this, you should go to the Essex Effective Support website where you can make a referral to the Children and Families Hub (C&FH).

Where a child is at immediate risk of significant harm, call the C&FH on 0345 603 7627 and ask for the 'Priority Line' or call the Police. 

Out of hours: Mondays to Thursdays 5.00pm to 9.00am; Fridays and bank holidays 4.30pm to 9.00am - call 0345 606 1212 or email

The Children and Families Hub also offers a consultation line for professionals providing advice and guidance. This can be accessed by calling 0345 603 7627 and asking for the 'Consultation Line'.

Request for information portal

Enquiries and requests for information from Children and Families can be made through this online form. It will assist those partners who do not have access to secure of GCSx email accounts 

Safeguarding allegations about you or a member of staff

When there is a safeguarding allegation about you or anyone in an early years and childcare setting, including childminders, the correct procedure must be followed as laid out in this Managing safeguarding allegations flowchart - PDF, 478KB (opens in new window) and contact the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) within 24 hours.

You must also report serious childcare incidents to Ofsted within 14 days. The day of the incident is the first of these 14 days.

You must tell Ofsted about:

  • any allegation of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working or looking after children on the premises
  • if a person looking after a child has something significant affecting their health   
  • an event that might affect the smooth running of the childcare, such as fire or a flood at the premises
  • The death of a child
  • serious accidents, injuries or illnesses to a child
  • food poisoning affecting two or more children

'A registered provider who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with this requirement, commits a criminal offence' (section 3.8 of the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage).  

Relevant resources

We've put together model templates / paperwork for you to use if you ever need to set up a case file for a child.