Children's out of hours service (COOH)

Information on what the Children's out of hours service team do and how to contact them. 

What does the Children's Out Of Hours Social Team do?

Urgent situations the emergency duty team deal with

Children’s Out of Hours Service (COOH) operates to respond to emergency situations out of office hours, from 5pm until 8:30 am Monday to Thursday and 4.30pm until 8:30am on a Friday and at weekends and bank holidays. COOH responds to emergency situations that are unable to wait until the next working day. These will relate to children’s safeguarding, potential placement, or family breakdowns and any other Children’s Services statutory work.

COOH offer a single point of access whereby all children out-side of daytime hours were there is a significant worry or concern around, will be screened by an Advanced Social Worker, who will make the decision around if the COOH will offer a service, or the presenting worry or concern can wait until the following day, for day time services to contact the family and consider who is best pleased to meet the support needs of the family under the Effective Support Framework.

How do I contact COOH?

If any professional, family member or member of the public has a worry or concern around the safety or welfare of a child out of office hours they can call the COOH team on (01482) 393939
Please note: All requests for Early Help, should go through the early help hubs (01482) 391700

COOH services consist of four advanced social work practitioners, who work outside of office hours. COOH provide a co-ordinated “front door” to the Children and Young People’s Support and Safeguarding Services, to anyone who has a significant worry or concerns about a child or young person. COOH Social Workers will provide the first response to all initial enquiries / expressions of concern received out of hours.

The service runs from 17:00hrs until 8:30 hrs the following morning, with the day time team taking over from 8.30 hrs onwards. There is a standby arrangement between the hours of 12:30 hours and 8:30am, with one of the COOH Social Workers on standby (for immediate risks to a child) the standby shift is worked from the social workers home and they are contactable via mobile. This arrangement is between the COOH and lifeline. Lifeline will not pass the workers mobile contact details to the caller, they will contact the social worker on Standby for advice. The social worker will then make the decision if an intervention / additional information is needed that evening, or the situation can wait until the following morning when the children’s social work Team or SAPH (Safeguarding and Partnership Hub) will follow up with the person sharing the information the following day.

What happens when I contact the emergency duty team?

The COOH calls are taken by the Lifeline call centre, your initial call will not be taken by a social worker, but a Lifeline operator. The Lifeline operators are not social workers and therefore will not be able to give advice, or make decisions. This is the role of the COOH social worker. On contacting Lifeline by telephone the call taker will ask a number of questions to establish a full picture of the families’ current situation. This is to ensure that the social worker has all the relevant information to make an informed decision around risk of harm and impact on the child/ren and if an intervention or further enquiries are needed that evening. It is not always possible for the COOH Social Worker to speak with the person contacting out of hours, as other contacts may need to take priority. The Lifeline operator will not be able to confirm, when or if a social worker will call back the person sharing the information, as other children may need to take priority. This decision sits with the COOH social worker.

The lifeline operator will ask the following questions to professionals, family and member of the public who share a worry or concern around a child.

The worker will need to know:

  • The reason for your call
  • Your name and address
  • Your telephone number
  • The details of the child you are worried about
  • An outline of your worries and concerns around the child
  • Is the family accessing support from any other agency
  • Whether the child is receiving support from anybody in social care services.

 If the Control Operator believes that an emergency service is required (Police, Ambulance or Fire) they are to advise the caller to ring this agency and then call us back.  (Examples: an ongoing assault, an injury to a person or a fire). Once the call taker has taken all the relevant information, the contact will be overseen by a Social Worker, who will decide if a response is needed that evening, or the following day. The call taker cannot confirm if the Social Worker will call you back, or offer advice around next steps.

You can refer to the East Riding Safeguarding Partnership web page for further information around support for children and young people under the Effective Support Windscreen in identifying the level of need in relation to families by clicking on the following the link:

http://www.erscb.org.uk/   how to report a concern (professionals) 

http://www.erscb.org.uk/professionals-and-volunteers/procedures-and-guidance/    Procedures and guidance

What if the problem is not an emergency?

You can still contact us. We will be able to provide you with appropriate advice. All requests for Early Help, should go through the early help hubs tel: (01482) 391700 and our early help offer will be able to be discussed with you.

If you are a professional and you are worried about a child and the child is not at significant risk of immediate harm, you can contact the SAPH Monday to Thursday on (01482) 395500 between 9 am and 17:00hrs and Friday 9am until 16:30hrs, choose option two and you will be able to have a consultation with a social worker to discuss your worries.

If you are a member of the public and want advice around a child and you do not have immediate worries for their welfare, you can contact SAPH on (01482)  395500 and a social worker will be able to talk through your worries with you.

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