Multi-Agency Referral Form for Early Help and Social Care services (MARF)

Any professional or practitioner wanting to make a request for service to Leicestershire County Council including Early Help or Social Care should complete this online MARF.

Leicester Safeguarding Partnership
Leicestershire & Rutland Safeguarding Children Partnership
  • If you are concerned that a child is suffering significant harm and is in imminent danger you should contact the Police immediately for an emergency response.
  • If you suspect that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm, refer this immediately by telephone to children’s social care on 0116 305 0005. The child may have made a disclosure, presents with an injury causing suspicion, or may be in a situation that has escalated so much that the child could be in danger.

A written referral of the information shared must be submitted using the MARF within 24 hours.

You should use the MARF if you are:

  • working with a child who you have assessed to have additional needs and there is permission from a parent to request Early Help services
  • working with a child who you have assessed to have complex needs which now requires a social work assessment to understand how these needs can be met and you have discussed this with the parent.

To assist you in making the decision about what the child may need, please:

Review the LLR SCP threshold document

Guidance for using the MARF

Before you start the form


Have all information ready. You will have a 90 minute session. To complete the MARF you will need:

  • Name, DOB, address of the child/ren you are referring and first parent/carer
  • Name, DOB, address of any other children, family members or significant others in the child/ren’s life
  • Names and contact details of any other agencies who have involvement with the child/ren and family
  • Names of other Local Authorities who have had involvement with the child/ren and family
  • Electronic copies of any assessments (CSE, Neglect, FGM, DASH, Gang Involvement)
  • Correct postcodes of all addresses provided - check the child/ren reside in Leicestershire

It will be helpful to have the name and address of the GP for all children being referred, but not a requirement to complete the form.

Requests for Social Care Information from professionals

If you are a professional (e.g. CAFCASS, Probation, Housing, other LA's conducting statutory safeguarding checks, assessments), working with a child/ or adult and you require specific supporting information from children’s social care records or where you need to find out if we hold such information, use the Request for Information form below to make a Statutory Request for Information. This form is only to be used by professional agencies who have a duty to undertake such enquiries as part of their statutory role.

Request for social care information for professionals

The Key Principles of Consent

Obtaining informed consent means to explain openly and honestly at the outset what information will or could be shared, and why, and seeking agreement.

Obtaining explicit consent is good practice and written consent is preferable since that reduces the scope for subsequent dispute. For example, confidential information should only be recorded on the Early Help Assessment form if the child, young person and/or parent explicitly agree to this. If there is particular information that they do not want recorded on the form or shared with others, it should be recorded only in confidential case records.

Respect the wishes of children, young people and families who do not consent to share confidential information - unless in your judgement there is sufficient need to override that lack of consent. The child or young person’s safety and welfare must be the overriding consideration when making decisions on whether to share information about them.

There will be some circumstances where you should not seek consent from the individual or their family, or inform them that the information will be shared. For example, if doing so would:

  • place a person (the individual, family member, yourself or a third party) at increased risk of significant harm if a child, or serious harm if an adult; or
  • prejudice the prevention, detection or prosecution of a serious crime; or
  • lead to an unjustified delay in making enquiries about allegations of significant harm to a child, or serious harm to an adult.

Also see:
LRSCP Overarching Safeguarding Information Sharing Agreement (ISA)

Privacy notice

Being transparent and providing accessible information to individuals about how you will use their personal data is a key element of Data Protection compliance. However, this does not mean that you need to get consent to use information in most cases, as there are many other conditions under the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 that allow you proceed without an individual’s explicit consent to use their information. The appropriate way to provide this information is in a privacy notice.

Each practitioner should follow their own agency’s or organisation’s Information Governance requirements for collecting, sharing and processing personal data.

Where a parent is informed of a referral

You should also inform the parents/carers of the following:

  • Information will be treated confidentially and will be used to understand the needs of the family – this will involve checking our records to see if we are already working with the family
  • Information may be shared with other services to check whether they are working with the family or have done so previously
  • Information will not be shared without permission, unless we are required to do so by law or there are concerns that someone has suffered or may be at risk of significant harm and
    • Name of the Data Controller processing their data
    • Contact details of the Data Protection Officer;
    • Purposes of processing and legal basis for processing – including the “legitimate interest” pursued by the controller if this is the legal basis.
    • Recipients, or categories of recipients of their data.
    • Details of data transfers outside the EU - including how the data will be protected (e.g. the recipient is in an adequate country; Binding Corporate Rules are in place etc.); and how the individual can obtain a copy of the BCRs or other safeguards, or where such safeguards have been made available.
    • The retention period for the data – if not possible, then the criteria used to set this.
    • That the individual has a right to access and port data, to rectify, erase and restrict his or her personal data, to object to processing and, if processing is based on consent, to withdraw consent.
    • That the individual can complain to a supervisory authority e. the ICO.
    • Whether there is a statutory or contractual requirement to provide the data and the consequences of not providing the data.
    • If there will be any automated decision taking – together with information about the logic involved and the significance and consequences of the processing for the individual.

When you are ready to complete a MARF:

Continue to the LSCP MARF