Integrated Contact and Referral Team (iCART)

Integrated Contact and Referral Team (iCART) iCART is the integrated front door to children and families’ services.  The team is comprised of multi-agency staff, including social care, early intervention, education, health and Police, therefore there is access to a wide range of information.  The team accept safeguarding referrals & early intervention requests.

Which children and families should be referred to iCART?

Children and families where there is an immediate risk of harm.

These referrals should clearly indicate they are for safeguarding and they will be passed to the children’s social care element of iCART for immediate attention and further screening.

Children and families with a number of vulnerabilities that are negatively impacting on the whole family and/or community.

There will be multiple and complex issues across the family such as anti-social behaviour, attendance & behaviour, possible neglect, worklessness / financial exclusion, domestic violence and abuse.  These referrals should indicate that they are for early intervention and they will be passed to the early intervention element of iCART for further screening.

What do we need from you as a referrer?

Discuss your referral with your line manager or safeguarding lead.

Unless you have an immediate safeguarding concern, you will need to complete an online iCART referral form.

As much up to date family information as you have. This needs to include details such as the full name of family members including other names they might be known by, the current nursery/school a child attends, up to date contact telephone numbers.

For you to check details carefully before you refer as incorrect information delays the process.

When making a referral, there are some areas where additional information tools can assist in the assessment process. These are detailed below. Please submit an appropriate assessment tool (available to download from – download it, save it and attach , if your referral is concerning any of the following issues:

  1. Neglect / home conditions
  2. Concerns for an unborn child
  3. Parental substance misuse
  4. Domestic abuse
  5. Parental mental health
  6. A short break request for a child with disabilities
  7. Child Exploitation

The family need to know that they are being referred and are in agreement for this to happen (informed consent). The family need to understand that there will be contact made by a member of iCART.

For you to continue with your support whilst we undertake our work.

What might happen with your referral?

We will make a decision as to the most appropriate response based on the information you send us and background checks. All referrals will have initial oversight of a social work manager or practitioner to ensure that they are screened further at the appropriate level.

We might come back to you with a recommendation that you start a MAP (if there isn’t an equivalent plan in place already). If more information emerges as you work with them you can re-refer to us.

We might pass onto social care for further screening / assessment.

We might provide advice and guidance to the family and / or you.

Contacting iCART:

The team can be contacted during the hours of 9am to 5pm from Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4.30pm on Friday, call 0151 907 8305.

If you have an urgent (safeguarding) concern outside these hours, please call the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 0345 0500148.

Professional/practitioner referrals:

 If you wish to make a referral for safeguarding or to request early intervention, you need to complete the multi-agency online referral form.  You will need to follow your safeguarding procedures and gain consent, where appropriate and possible.  You will always need to gain consent for early intervention cases.

For safeguarding concerns or immediate safeguarding risks to a child, information is recorded and a same working day response provided by a social worker. For other safeguarding contacts, iCART completes enquiries within 24 hours (1 working day).  Each contact with iCART to ask for support or advice is recorded.  Early Intervention contacts are completed within 3 working days.

All information is considered by iCART alongside the Halton Levels of Need Framework and guidance is offered in line with the level of the Framework that the case meets.


Download Levels of Need