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Making a referral

Please do not send a referral without first discussing the referral with the Integrated Access and Referral Team (i-ART). 

Integrated access and referral team

Emergency duty team (for out of hours emergencies)

  • Email (ordinary):
  • Telephone: 01244 977277
  • Opening hours: 4.30 pm to 8.30 am from Monday to Thursday, from 4pm on Friday and 24 hours at weekends and bank holidays

Important notes:

Emergency referrals should be telephoned through to the above numbers as appropriate.

Encrypted emails must be used to send all other referrals. GCSX secure email addresses are a safe and secure method to send completed referral forms to the team.

Do not send any  personal information about specific children or young people via  the ordinary email addresses provided above.

As a professional contacting i-ART you have a responsibility to secure consent from families and/or individuals to confirm they are happy for their information to be shared. The law is clear consent must be specific, informed and freely given. On contacting i-ART a member of the team will explore this with you. There are some exceptions to this, for example if someone is at risk or to prevent crime and disorder. Please contact i-ART for advice if you are unsure.

The Council privacy notice provides information about how agencies in West Cheshire may use personal information. All agencies have to tell people how they might use information provided and give the choice to say yes or no to using that information. Professionals must share a copy of the privacy notice at every first visit and record this on eTAF.

The following leaflets provide more information about the Integrated Access and Referral Team:

Local children's social care offices

Alternatively, you can visit one of our three office locations and speak with a duty social worker about a referral.

  • Chester: Nicholas House, 1 Black Friars, Chester, CH1 2NU 
  • Ellesmere Port and Neston: 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE
  • Vale Royal: Wyvern House, The Drumber, Winsford, CW7 1AU

Making a referral online

Professionals making a referral online must observe the following guidance:

  • As many fields as possible should be completed. Some fields must be completed in order for the referral to proceed.
  • The name, address and contact details of the person making the referral must be included. Anonymous referrals will not be accepted via the online form as more information may be needed or details clarified by the receiving worker.
  • Online referrals are checked throughout the day on weekdays. The team aim to assess each referral within 24 hours and will respond on a priority basis. The Integrated Access and Referral Team will decide whether to make a referral to a specialist team, redirect the referral to another agency or organisation, send out information or deal with the query on the spot.
  • Paper copies of online referrals will be made and may become part of the confidential written records relating to individual service users of the department. Individuals have a right by law to view records held about them. It is exceptional that information is withheld from a service user and this should be borne in mind when making an online referral. Please refer to the privacy notice for more information.

What happens next

Online referrals will only be acknowledged where the referrer is the person concerned, the carer or a professional such as a GP, teacher or nurse.

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