LSCP Multi Agency Referral Form (MARF)

How do I make a referral to Children's Advice & Support Service (CASS) about the safety and welfare of a child or young person in Liverpool?

LCC are changing the way they handle phone calls related to Children’s Services, allowing them to offer a wider range of services to callers.  

The current phone service Careline will close, and instead all calls will be answered by the corporate Customer Services team on a new number – 0151 459 2606. 

Customer Services will provide a triage service, answering general enquiries and providing updates and progress reports to customers. Any callers needing further advice will be referred to the  the Children’s Advice and Support Service (CASS). 

Customers with more complex enquiries related to Children’s Services will be directed to the most appropriate service for their needs.  

Callers using the old Careline number will be greeted with a recorded message informing them of the changes. They will be provided with the number for the new service, as well as information about the various online options for accessing information and support.  

More on what the new services will offer: 

Customer services 

When you call the new number, you’ll be greeted by Customer Services.  

Customer Services will provide a triage function for each of the new services, enabling the Children’s Advice and Support Services to focus on their new role. Customer services will offer: 

  • Information, Advice and Guidance 
  • Updates, progress reports and requests to speak to case holders 
  • Triage 
  • Support with social care charging 

The new Children’s Advice and Support Service (CASS) is being introduced to offer a bespoke, professional service for children who need support or protection. CASS will also provide a streamlined pathway for families into Early Help Services. The core opening hours will be Monday to Friday, 8am to 10pm. 

CASS provides a single point of contact for professionals and members of the public who want to raise concerns about children and young people. This is the dedicated “front door” for Children’s Social Care – and is an important step on our Improvement journey and our aim to provide excellent service to the children and families of Liverpool.  

An out of hours service will continue to offer an emergency duty response from 5pm on weekdays, and 24-hour coverage on weekends and Bank Holidays. 


Operating Hours for Children’s Out of Hours Service 

5pm to 8am  

Monday to Friday 

24 hour coverage  

Weekends and Bank Holidays 

Multi-Agency Referral Form's (MARF) or a completed Early Help Assessment Tool (EHAT) are still being accepted.

The only exception to this arrangement is Section 47 Child Protection referrals, where there is reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm. In such instances, professionals should continue to make an immediate telephone referral to CASS 0151 459 2606. , followed by an online MARF.

Professionals making Section 47 Child Protection Referrals are required to complete an online MARF within one working day of making a telephone referral to CASS.

In all other cases, before submitting a request for single assessment by Children’s Social Care, it is important that professionals consider whether a child’s and their family’s needs can be more appropriately supported through Early Help.

Before submitting a MARF It is important all professionals carefully consider the LSCP Responding to Need Framework and Guidance.

Levels of Need Windscreen

Levels of Need Indicators

Professionals who submit a MARF and have not appropriately applied the Levels of Need Framework will be expected to initiate an Early Help Assessment. Please check with you local Early Help Hub if one already exists. If an Early Help Assessment is not initiated within 10 working days, a member of the Early Help Hub will contact the professional to support them in progressing this.

Further guidance about EHAT can be found on Liverpool City Council Website and by contacting your local Early Help Hub - links below.

Early Help Assessment

Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF)

Practitioner Guidance on Completing the MARF