Emergency Duty Team Practice Guidance


This chapter highlights EDT staff's role and responsibilities, including ensuring recording on ICS is fully undertaken with the relevant team advised by the following working day. Recording should seek to detail the rationale behind decision-making and activity undertaken.


This chapter was reviewed and updated in June 2021

This practice guidance is issued for Children's Social Care and outlines the role and function of the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) and the case recording process associated with this.

The Emergency Duty Team operates to respond to emergency situations out of office hours, from 5pm until 9am, and at weekends and bank holidays. It responds to critical situations that are unable to wait until the next working day, these will relate to children's safeguarding (Section 47), potential placement, or family breakdowns, acting as an Appropriate Adult for young offenders and any other Children's Services related emergency work.

It is the expectation that work coming in during day time hours will be managed by the case holding social worker, a duty social worker, or MASH. Occasionally there may be circumstances which require work to be passed on to EDT; in these circumstances an agreed authorisation from a Head of Service/Service Manager is required. If requesting EDT assistance social workers need to discuss and agree this with their Manager and relevant HOS/Service Manager. The HOS/Service Manager will complete the Service Manager case note (located in case notes under EDT Service Manager Approval for EDT visit). The allocated Social Worker or MASH worker will then complete an EDT Case Alert case note, this needs to include detailed information regarding the request, risks associated with this and any contingency plans (guidance for this is available in ICS under Useful Links Business processes). The Allocated Social Worker or Team Manager is to tag the EDT Co-Ordinator into the EDT Case Alert and email or telephone the co-ordinator to ensure that they have the request to complete a visit or intervention.

The EDT Social Worker will commence EDT case recording by adding an EDT case note stating that approval has been granted and the action that they have taken following this. The EDT Social Worker who undertakes the visit will record their involvement on an EDT Attendance case note, providing detailed recording regarding the time of the visit, their assessment and clearly recording the voice of the child and any associated risks.

Case summaries are vital in providing EDT with a pen picture of a child/young person and their current circumstances and ensuring key relevant information to assist EDT is readily available. Case summaries should be updated a least every three months and following any significant change (see case summary guidance in useful links).

EDT Case Alerts should also be used by social workers to highlight any concerns with a family, if it is thought that an out of hours response may be required. This case note should contain key information related to any contingency plans EDT are not required to be tagged into these case notes if a specific action is not required from EDT it is just an alert.

This practice guidance requires that all staff adhere to statutory case recording at all times, irrespective of working time. Whilst it is acknowledged that during out of hours EDT cannot be responsible for maintaining the full records, it is a requirement that EDT ensure case recordings are completed and managed accordingly to ensure safeguarding arrangements and practice standards.

EDT is a limited social work service and resource, only required to undertake emergency response; thus, there are only Five key aspects of case recording on ICS that may be required to be undertaken, these being the recording of an EDT case note, an EDT Attendance case note, a Co-Coordinators Decision, Appropriate Adult attendance and an EDT Strategy Discussion.

This practice guidance relates to the recording and inputting of the following items, to be completed by 9am or the next working day:

  • MASH Contacts;
  • Section 47;
  • Attendance at Appropriate Adult Interviews;
  • EDT Co-Ordinator Decision.

When a Contact is made relating to a closed or new case, the EDT Social Worker will ensure that the EDT MASH Contact Form is completed in detail, this is attached to EDT Sharepoint and automatically sent to the Children's MASH inbox and needs to be sent before 9am. For matters requiring the urgent of attention of MASH, the EDT Social Worker will telephone MASH at the beginning of the next working day. For existing cases, an EDT case note and EDT attendance is the method of recording, these are to alert the social worker and their team manager through ICS; but for complex cases, face to face discussion, or a follow up telephone call to the case holding social worker should also take place.

All reported missing events are recorded by EDT in an EDT Case note, this case note should contain full details of the missing incident, including the person making contact with EDT, their telephone number, role and organisation, the time the young person went missing and location, all risk factors associated for the missing person, the actions that the referrer has made, the Police Incident Number and any further action agreed. For children who are placed outside of Knowsley, EDT will record their missing incidences on an EDT Missing form and re-assign this to Admin Missing.

Where the EDT Social worker has concluded that a Section 47 child protection investigation is required then a Strategy Discussion must take place and be recorded on the EDT Strategy Discussion Template and case note. This recording must include the discussions with Police, any other agencies and clearly record the decision making and actions agreed. The template should be attached to Documents in ICS and emailed to CSC Admin (if open case) and the relevant Manager (MASH for non open cases). In some circumstances, where a child has been safeguarded, and following discussion with the Team Manager, or the on call Senior Manager, the Strategy Meeting will be able to wait until the next working day.

When the on call Senior Manager has been consulted regarding a situation, a Manager's Decision case note should be recorded by the senior manager.

All Case notes must be completed and updated on open cases before 9am, Monday to Friday (with an alert to allocated social worker and Team Manager) maintained ensuring that the child's voice and journey is evidenced as required, so that decision making is evidenced and EDT Co-Ordinator managers oversight also recorded properly and in full.