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Blackpool Social Work and Safeguarding ServiceProcedures Manual

Duty Team Responsibilities and Transfer from Duty and Assessment Team to Safeguarding Teams


  1. Introduction
  2. Agreed Transfer Points - Duty and Assessment to Safeguarding/LAC Teams
  3. Re-Referrals
  4. Appendix 1: Children's Social Care Transfer Meetings Terms of Reference

1. Introduction

The primary task of Children's Social Care Duty and Assessment is to process referrals and assessments in a timely manner so that appropriate services can be delivered to children and young people in Blackpool whose needs have crossed the agreed thresholds, discharging the Council's responsibility to provide a statutory service to the children and young people in most acute and chronic need.

It is therefore necessary that any longer term work transfers out of Duty to the Safeguarding/LAC/other Teams in a timely and efficient manner.

A transfer meeting will be held each Wednesday; 9.00am at Bickerstaffe House. Each meeting will be attended by the Duty Team Managers and one Team Manager from each Safeguarding/LAC/other. The meeting will be chaired by one of the three Service Managers subject to availability. The purpose of the meeting is to promote a face to face dialogue and information exchange while agreeing specific dates for transfers according to the Agreed Transfer Points below.

2. Agreed Transfer Points - Duty and Assessment to Safeguarding/LAC Teams

Below is a suggested list of 'case types' and appropriate transfer points. It is unlikely that this list is exhaustive, but should provide enough detail to aid decision making about the appropriate time to transfer any case.

  • Child Protection Conference: Transfer at the Initial Child Protection Conference;
  • Care Proceedings: Transfer at the first Court hearing (Both teams represented at Legal Planning Meeting and agree plan, both workers work on plan and attend first Court Hearing);
  • Looked After Child (LAC): Transfer at the first LAC Review;
  • Diversion from LAC: Having crossed the LAC Threshold to receive this service, will be reviewed at 8 week intervals. Transfer at first Review;
  • CIN Plan: Transfer at the first CIN Planning Meeting;
  • Pre Birth Assessment:
    • Prior to 32 weeks gestation and when high risk indicators are clearly present the case will transfer immediately to the Safeguarding Teams. N.B. This does not mean waiting until nearly 32 weeks to transfer. Any gestation over 12 weeks should be transferred as soon as possible so that the case can be allocated and assessment commence;
    • Post 32 weeks gestation (less than 8 weeks to EDD) Allocated Duty Worker will undertake the assessment and transfer at the next appropriate point indicated in list above.

In every case the allocated duty social worker will complete a transfer summary for the point of transfer. The Team Manager is responsible for notifying their colleague in the receiving Safeguarding Team as soon as possible. They will also undertake a duty audit on each case transferred. (Best practice would suggest they audit each other's cases, this has not proved feasible at the moment, but may be a goal to aim for).

3. Re-Referrals

Cases closed by the Safeguarding Teams that are re-referred within 3 months of closure will follow the single front door process. When the Duty Team Manager confirms the Threshold Decision, allocation will be direct to the Safeguarding Team.

Appendix 1: Children's Social Care Transfer Meetings Terms of Reference

Purpose: The purpose of the Transfer Meeting is for the Duty Teams to notify Safeguarding and LAC Teams of any cases due to transfer according to the agreed criteria.

Frequency: Weekly, Monday

Venue: Bickerstaffe House

Attendees: Service Manager, Safeguarding Team, Team Manager Safeguarding Team, Service or Team Manager Duty and Assessment Teams, Team Managers from LAC Teams.

Chair: Operational Service Manager


  1. All cases will transfer from Duty and Assessment when they meet the agreed Criteria;
  2. Duty and Assessment Teams will ensure that assessments, reports and case note entries are up to date at point of transfer;
  3. Inability to allocate is not a valid reason for longer term teams to refuse transfer;
  4. Safeguarding /LAC Teams taking cases they cannot allocate immediately will raise the issues at CMT through the Service Managers the following day;
  5. The Transfer meeting will be the main point of discussion but this process does not preclude prior discussion between Team Managers if warranted by the complexity of the case.


  1. Duty Team/Service Manager briefly presents case and intended Transfer date;
  2. Safeguarding/Lac Team Manager agrees worker to be allocated (nominated prior to transfer), presence at ICPC, LAC Rev, etc;
  3. Brief discussion re any matters arising with reference to case direction/shared planning/opportunities for joint working;
  4. Duty Team Manager allocates case to nominated worker on Transfer date.

Dispute Resolution:

Any disputes arising will be resolved by the Service Manager Chair by adherence to the above principles, applied with pragmatism and common-sense;

Any dispute the Service Manager Chair is still unable to resolve will be taken to the Head of Service for resolution at CMT.