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Specialist Support - Level 4

Children who are considered to have been harmed or are likely to suffer significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect / removal from home / or will suffer serious lasting impairment without the intervention of local authority statutory services under high level concern Child in Need (CIN) or high-risk Child Protection (CP) Services and Specialist Youth Justice work. Children whose disability affects all aspects of development.

Below are examples of the indicators that suggest a child would be in level 4.

Child or Young Person

  • I am not growing or developing properly with no medical reasons for this
  • I am a non-mobile baby or non-mobile child with a bruise, or an injury
  • I am under 13 years of age and sexually active
  • I am under 13 years of age and I have a sexualy transmitted infection
  • I am under 13 years of age and I am pregnant
  • I am displaying sexually aggressive behaviour
  • I have been physically and/or sexually abused, including child sexual assault
  • I am frequently missing from home
  • I have been kicked out of home, or I have left home as I am not safe there
  • I am subject to a Youth Justice Court Order
  • I have retreated socially, or I am struggling with my emotional/mental health and this is having a significant impact on me
  • I have suicidal ideations/plans
  • I have been abandoned or severely neglected by my parent/carer
  • I am being significantly emotionally abused by my parent, my carer or my partner
  • Others have significant concerns about my reliance on drugs or alcohol
  • I am home educated, there are serious concerns for my safety


  • Meeting my needs as a severely disabled child has a significant impact on my family/parents/carers
  • I am at significant risk because my carer cannot parent me properly
  • I am at significant risk because my parents/carers are not supporting my medical or development needs
  • I am at significant risk because my parents/carers are not able to protect me from know abusers in, or coming to, our family home
  • I am at significant risk due to being left at home alone without adequate supervision or support
  • I am at high risk due to my parents/carers mental health/substance abuse
  • I am at high risk due to the level of domestic abuse in my family home
  • I am an unborn at risk due to the pregnancy being concealed
  • I am at risk because my parents/carers have abused/neglected another child
  • A previous child has been removed from my parents/carers care
  • I am at risk, my carer is exaggerating or causing symptoms/illness in me
  • I am at high risk due to my parents/carers learning or physical disability
  • I am at high risk due to my parents/carers cultural customs regarding Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • I am being forced to marry someone I don't want to
  • I am at high risk due my family's honour/cultural customs
  • My parents may be colluding encouraging, or benefiting from the risks to me outside my home
  • My parents may be facilitating or supporting harmful peer activity through the provision or resources, including online

Risks to Me Outside My Home

View short video explaining more about Contextual Safeguarding

  • I am being trafficked
  • I am experiencing peer on peer abuse which may involve use of/or being forced to carry weapons in a group setting, i.e. gangs/county line. Read more about gangs
  • I am at high risk of harm due to illegal or inappropriate content, conduct or contact online. Read more about Online Safety
  • I am at high risk of being radicalised, abuse or exploited through technology or inappropriate relationships, in person, or online
  • I am being criminally/sexually exploited in a group setting, i.e. gangs
  • I am instigating or experiencing intimate partner abuse or violence
  • I am at high risk of significant harm when I go missing from home

Risk to me outside my home: This is when my experiences of harm are beyond my home, my family and carers. It's when the different relationships that I form, in the places, or spaces I spend time, like my neighbourhood, my peer group, my school and online may feature violence and/or abuse. At Level 4 this would mean that I am experiencing a high level of coercive control that I don't recognise or accept as abusive relationships. Furthermore, my parents or carers have little or no influence over me or these contexts, and my experiences of abuse outside the home are likely to undermine the parent-child relationship.

Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to understanding and responding to, young people's experiences of significant harm beyond their families. Therefore, Integrated Children's Services need to engage with individuals and sectors who do have influence over/within extra-familial contexts, and recognise that assessment of, and intervention with, these spaces are a critical part of safeguarding practices. Contextual Safeguarding, therefore, expands the objectives of safeguarding systems in recognition that young people are vulnerable to abuse in a range of social contexts.

Is this an immediate safeguarding concern?

Yes - if there are concerns that a child may be suffering significant harm, the Request for Support form should be completed and immediately submitted to the Front Door.

Submit Request for Support Form

Unsure - discuss your concerns with your agency Designated Safeguarding Lead

No - discuss your concerns with the family and gain their agreement to engage with services.

Do I have 'Agreement to Engage'?

The family's Agreement to Engage is required before you complete the Request for Support form unless there is immediate risk, or if it places a child at risk of significant harm. A completed copy of the form should be shared with the family. You should therefore have discussed your concerns with the family and explored with them what the most appropriate support may be for them. The family should be aware that the form will be used to determine the most appropriate support available. If the family refuse Agreement to Engage this should not influence the decision to complete a Request for Support form where the level of concern warrants this.

Form and Guidance

Single Request for Support Form

Please complete the above form to request support and upload via

Single Request for Support Form Guidance