Help and protection for children A-Z

​Explore the A-Z


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

CAMHS are specialist NHS children and young people's mental health services.

If you are a parent and think your child might need more help, speak to your school or GP.

If you work with children, you can refer a child for support directly via the Referral Management Centre.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

CEOP is a centre dedicated to eradicating the sexual abuse of children. They work in partnership with local and international organisations.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Parents, carers and professionals coming into contact with children are urged to look out for signs of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

How to recognise the signs of CSE

Report Child Sexual exploitation (CSE)

CSE information for parents and carers

The Tackling CSE Toolkit assists frontline practitioners working with children in identifying CSE and taking appropriate action.

Children's Rights Service

​The council has a responsibility to make sure that the rights of children are respected and that they are treated fairly.

The Children's Rights Service support children and young people in care with advice, support and advocacy.

Complex case discussions

A complex case discussion is a group talk amongst key professionals to review a child or young person’s case and identify options. This normally happens when an Early Help Assessment or the support provided is not achieving its intended outcomes.

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Designated Officers (formerly LADO)

Designated Officers (formerly known as LADO's) provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations when a concern is raised about a person working with children or young people.


  • you have concerns about an adult working or volunteering with children and young people who may have behaved inappropriately or
  •  information has been received that may constitute an allegation

you should refer this to your Designated Officer (DO).

All referrals to Northamptonshire County Council's DO's should be sent through via the MASH.

If you have used the Designated Officer service, we want to hear your comments.

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Early help pathway

The early help pathway is the method you should follow if you think a child or young person is in need of additional support.

Early Help Support Service

The Early Help Support Service is available for anyone working with children and families. You can access information, advice, guidance and support from the team about a range of early help issues, including early help assessment.​

The Early Help Assessment (EHA)

The Early Help Assessment can be used by anyone working with children to help identify their needs. A plan is then made to meet those needs.

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Health Visitors

​The health visiting service aims to provide and maintain a comprehensive public health nursing service that promotes physical, mental, social and emotional health, and encompasses the health needs of individuals, families and communities.

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Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)

​The primary focus of IRO's is to ensure the wishes and feelings of children in care are given full consideration. IROs follow a child’s progress through care.

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Lead professional

​The Lead Professional is the key point of contact within the Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting. They will keep you informed, listen to your views and support you.

Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO)

​​​See Designated Officers

Local Offer

The Local Offer provides a list of local and national services for children and young people (aged 0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities.

Looked after children (LAC)

​Looked After Children (LAC) are children and young people cared for by the local authority: they may live with foster carers, other family members or in residential care.

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Missing children and young people

If you have a safeguarding concern about a missing child missing or young person education, you should report this to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

Child missing from education

If the pupil is still absent beyond 10 consecutive school days, you should report the child as 'missing education' using the online form below:

National guidance - children missing from education.

Runaway help - information and support to young people before, while and after they are missing.

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

​When you raise a concern about a child’s welfare, your call or email goes to our dedicated team of child protection professionals, known as the Northamptonshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

Over 60 people from different organisations work together in the team, including social care, police, NHS, education, and probation services.

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Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children's Board (NSCB)

The Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children's Board help safeguard and promote the welfare of children in Northamptonshire.

The NSCB Procedures Manual

Subscribe to the NSCB newsletter

Northamptonshire Youth Offending Service (YOS)

Northamptonshire Youth Offending Service (NYOS) is a multi-agency partnership that provides a range of services for children and young people who have committed offences or are at risk of committing offences.

Northamptonshire County Council, the Police, Probation, the NHS and the Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) work together to reduce offending and re-offending.

Contact the NYOS

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Referral Management Centre (RMC)

The Referral Management Centre (RMC) is the single point of referral for all referrals and queries regarding emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people. Any professional in the county (for example a GP, teacher, health visitor, social worker etc) can refer using one referral form to one central place.

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School nurses

​School nurses (also known as the Children and Young People’s Nursing Service) work in partnership with individual children, young people and families as well as schools and communities
to help improve health and achieve equal outcomes for all children and young people.

Single Assessment

This process of getting to understand the situation, needs and wishes of your child and family is called a Single Assessment.

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Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings

​The TAF meeting brings together a range of different professionals to support the family following an Early Help Assessment. The purpose is to bring people together with specialist knowledge to work out how best to help support the family.

Thresholds and pathways

Thresholds and Pathways is part of a set of documents and tools designed to provide clear guidance to practitioners working with children, families and young people when they are concerned about their safety.

The aim of this is to ensure consistent approaches, use of terminology and practice across all agencies that work with children, young people and families, thus improving the outcomes for children, young people and families of Northamptonshire.

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Unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC)

​A child or young person under the age of 18 who has been forced or compelled to leave their home country. They may have no adult in the UK exercising parental responsibility.

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Voice of the child

Support for children and young people is meaningless if it ignores the voice of the child or young person. Their situation cannot be improved without listening to what they have to say and acting on it.


Vulnerabilities are part of the Thresholds and Pathways area. They are known characteristics, or factors which might pre-dispose a child to risk of harm. Essentially these are internal to the child. They need to be understood in relation to potential child abuse and neglect. Consideration should be given to any unmet need which in itself makes a child more vulnerable.

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Young carers

Do you know anyone under the age of 18 who is looking after a member of their family (mother, father, sibling) who would otherwise struggle to support themselves? They could be doing this without any knowledge or support from their school, doctors or local authority. These are known as young carers.

Why are young carers vulnerable?

The amount of care and responsibility a young person has to give may be excessive or inappropriate. This can have a negative impact on them, for example:

  • Problems at school and in getting qualifications
  • Isolation from children and from other family members
  • Lack of time for play, sport or leisure activities
  • Conflict between the needs of the person they are helping and their own needs
  • Feeling that there is nobody there for them
  • Lack of recognition, praise or respect for their contribution

What should you do?

If you know or are working with a young carer, you should let us know. This enables us to assess the situation and offer help and support where needed.

Contact the Children's Trust

Young Carers strategy

The Young Carers Strategy sets out Northamptonshire’s model of identifying and assessing Young Carers in the county and how they will be supported enable them to live a full life,

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