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Lead Practitioner Support

In Gloucestershire, we believe that families are best supported by those who are already working with them, with additional support from local partners arranged as needed.

Those who know the children and families are often best placed to open the support with the family but no practitioner can know/do everything to help a family. In Gloucestershire there are different options for supporting children, young people and families depending on the presenting needs and the levels of concern. Partners in the community can draw in help from a number of different sources to ensure that the children and families are getting the right support at the right time. This must be undertaken with informed consent, for which further information can be accessed by clicking HERE.  Practitioners can use Gloucestershire’s Levels of Intervention to help identify the level of concern.  This can be accessed by clicking HERE.

Consent to share information

It is important for all professionals to understand when they should share information or refer to another service. The government has issued advice for all frontline practitioners and senior managers working with children, young people, parents and carers:

Information Sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (July 2018)

 This makes clear that any professional who “has concerns about a child’s welfare, or believes they are at risk of harm…should share the information with the local authority children’s social care…and/or the police...If it is thought that a crime has been committed and/or a child is at immediate risk, the police should be notified without delay.” The above advice also contains a helpful ‘Myth-busting guide’. There is also guidance in Working Together

In general:

  • you should always seek the parent’s consent; if you try to make a referral without obtaining consent you will be usually asked to do so.
  • the overwhelming majority of parents will give consent and appreciate practitioners who are honest and direct with them.
  • in certain circumstances you do not need a parent’s consent if
    • it is evidently dangerous to the child to seek consent
    • it would cause delay that would significantly add to the risk
  • You may consider override seeking consent if the concern is about sexual abuse, forced marriage, ‘honour’ violence, female genital mutilation, fabricated or induced illness in a child.
  • If you are unable to obtain consent or think it may not be appropriate you should seek advice from the designated or named professional or relevant manager in your organisation. Children’s services are happy to give advice to professionals about consent on 01452 426565, but this should not cause a delay in safeguarding a child or young person.
  • The young person can consent themselves – this requires a judgement about their capacity, and you should seek advice (from within  your own agency or by phoning the Access and Referral Hub) or consult the NSPCC 

The Early Help Advice, Guidance and Support service will support Practitioners and those working with children and families to best help families. They can provide a wealth of tools, information, and training; and support Practitioners to write Assessment, Plans, gather the voices of children for family meetings, as well as help understand risk and safeguarding.  Further information regarding each role within the service can be found within the relevant drop-down below.

Community Social Worker

The Community Social Work Team are qualified social workers whose role is to directly support practitioners in the community (including those from statutory, non-statutory, and voluntary agencies) working with children and families.

If you have a concern about a child or young person that is non-urgent and you wish to have a conversation to consider levels of intervention and next steps, Community Social Worker advice can be requested by emailing


Gloucester Locality

Brian Devers-Martin or Debbie Webb

Cheltenham Locality

Nichola Spear or Eve-Louise Walker 

Stroud Locality

Keira Shortman  or Brian Devers-Martin 

Cotswold Locality

Mandy Hollands  or Eve-Louise Walker 

Forest of Dean Locality

Keira Shortman 

Tewkesbury Locality

Eve-Louise Walker or Nichola Spear 

A Community Social Worker will support you to reflect on your worries, explore what needs to happen next, and complete a follow-up conversation with you at a later date to ensure that you feel confident in completing agreed actions, as well as provide you with any support you may require around this.

If you have safeguarding concerns which are of an urgent nature, please continue to call Gloucestershire MASH on 01452 426565 and select option 3.

Community Social Workers can also work alongside practitioners who are part of a Team Around the Family (TAF) where there are concerns that the risk is increasing, where there are multiple needs which are not being met or there is a particularly complex situation to address. Please contact the Community Social Work Team using the email address above if you wish to discuss this further.

The Community Social Work Team also take a lead in supporting practitioners in the community to effectively use the Gloucestershire Child Neglect Toolkit to assist with the early identification of children and young people at risk of neglect. 

Please click here to find out more about neglect, how to complete the Neglect Toolkit and how the Community Social Work team can support you, or call us if you wish to have a conversation.

DWP Employment Adviser

Two Employment Advisors are seconded from the Department of Work and Pensions to support adults in their journey into employment.

This includes finding voluntary and paid work; support with education and training that moves someone nearer to employment; and information on courses and groups to improve someone’s skills.

Justin Grisman - Forest of Dean, Gloucester and Tewkesbury: 01452 328460 07971 996246


Tamara Hockey, Cheltenham, Cotswolds and Stroud: 07584 271586 

Early Help Coordinator

Early Help Coordinators offer advice, guidance and support to practitioners working with children and families around all aspects of using the Graduated Pathway.

Early Help Coordinators can support practitioners with Team Around the Family meetings, developing plans and assessments and commissioning services to meet children’s needs. Early Help Coordinators also offer training around the Graduated Pathway of Early Help and Support and more information can be found HERE.

Early Help Coordinators work on a locality basis and can be contacted by using the numbers and email addresses below:

Cheltenham 01452 328160
Cotswolds 01452 328101
Forest of Dean 01452 328048
Gloucester 01452 328071
Stroud 01452 328130
Tewkesbury 01452 328250

If you are unable to contact your locality Early Help Coordinator, advice, guidance and support is available by contacting the EHCO Practitioner Advice Line on 01452 426644 (operational Monday - Friday, 9am - 4pm).

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