Specialist Support - Level 4

Children who are considered to have been harmed or are likely to suffer significant harm as a result of abuse, 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 services and specialist justice youth work. Children whose disability affects all aspects of development.

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

Children and young people

  • 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. View Kent and Medway  actual or suspected bruising procedures.
  • I am under 13 years of age and sexually active
  • I am under 13 years of age and I have a sexually 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, carer and/or partner
  • others have significant concerns about my resilience on drugs and/or alcohol
  • I am home educated and there are serious concerns about my safety.

Parents and carers

  • 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 known abusers in, or coming to, our family home
  • I am at significant risk due to being left home alone without adequate supervision or support
  • I am at high risk due to my parents/carers mental health and/or substance misuse
  • 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 pervious 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 to 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

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, peer group, school, and/or 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/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.

  • I am being trafficked
  • I am experiencing peer or peer abuse which may involve use of/or being forced to carry weapons in a group setting i.e. gangs = and county lines. Read more about gangs and county lines
  • 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, abused 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.

View short video explaining Contextual Safeguarding

Support and next steps

If you have an immediate safeguarding concern, you should complete the Request for Support form and immediately submit to the Front Door.

Report a immediate safeguarding concern

If you are unsure about your concerns you should discuss them with your agencies Designated Safeguarding Lead.

If you have no immediate safeguarding concerns you should discuss your concerns with the family and gain their agreement to engage with services.

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 it places a child at risk of significant harm. A completed copy of the form should be shared with the family.

You should discuss your concerns with the family and explore 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.