Emergency Duty Team


In January 2022 this chapter was updated.

1. Team Location

The Emergency Duty Team is based at:

Walsall Council Environmental Depot
200 Pelsall Road

2. Communication and Contact Numbers

Direct EDT Telephone Number: 0300 555 2922

Please ensure that all referrals/information that may require any action by EDT is sent to this email address.

3. EDT Duty Time Cover

Start Time   Finish Time  
Monday 17.00 Tuesday 08.45
Tuesday 17.00 Wednesday 08.45
Wednesday 17.00 Thursday 08.45
Thursday 17.00 Friday 08.45
Friday 16.45 Monday 08.45

EDT cover evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

In the main There will be one EDT Advanced Practitioner Social Worker on duty covering the above hours for the whole of Walsall. However, the on call worker has access to additional social work resources to support the team in exceptionally busy periods.

The team respond to all urgent Adult and Children's Services referrals where there is a crisis situation of a support or safeguarding nature. A Homelessness service is also provided by the team out of hours.

The Mental Health Crisis Team provide their own out of hours service. Their number is 01922 607000.

There is also an out of hours Approved Mental Health Practitioner (AMHP) on call out of hours. This number is for professionals only and the number is 01922698033.

The Emergency Planning / Resilience Team have a joint working protocol with EDT and can also be contacted  through the out of hours contact centre on 01922 650000.

There is always a manager on duty for the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) and the Senior Management Team (SMT) should also provide cover on a rota basis.

If there are queries on any of the information passed to day time staff EDT staff can be contacted by emailing emergency.duty@walsall.gov.uk.

4. Working Arrangements Between the EDT Service and Daytime Social workers / Staff

The following criteria are set down to reflect the reality of high demand on both day time and EDT staff. The balance therefore has to be struck between ensuring a high quality service and the maintenance of a duty of care for both staff groups.

EDT will take referrals from fifteen minutes before daytime closure if:

  1. The family are closed to day time teams.
  2. if there are no staff in the area who are able to follow up the referral
  3. If it appears that the concern is a genuine emergency / safeguarding concern that it cannot wait until the next working day to be screened / assessed / addressed.

It is to be noted that EDT are not able to undertake safe and well visits / statutory visits on cases, unless this has been explicitly agreed by the EDT Team manager in advance in exceptional circumstances.

The established practice of day time teams progressing referrals received before the EDT start time will continue. (Also referred to in Child Protection Procedures). Cases should not be transferred over to EDT at 17.00, Social Work and Admin staff in the day steams should first establish the above three handover protocol points.

However EDT staff will be sensitive to daytime staff working hours and the progress of a referral with a view to giving appropriate support as priorities allow. The above consideration will also be applied to those cases open to staff where an emergency arises in the final fifteen minutes before daytime closing.

It is the responsibility of the day time workers / teams to establish contingencies and to have identified safety plans in relation to known risks and crisis situations.

The impact of this working protocol will be reviewed regularly.

6. Emergency Protection Orders and Police Protection

The appropriate use of Police Protection is clearly outlined in the Children Act 1989 section 46. Requests to the police should not be made merely on the basis that it is quicker and easier.

Where there is a history of concern and the view is that a legal order is necessary it is appropriate to make an application for an Emergency Protection Order (section 44) or Interim Care Order (section 38).

Where an Emergency Protection Order is recommended by day time staff, particularly in respect of an unborn baby, EDT should be supplied with clear written evidence on the grounds for an order. See Safeguarding Unborn Children: Pre-Birth Assessment Protocol. This should be in the form of a statement from the Social Worker accompanied by an appendix of other relevant documents.

There should also be a case discussion with EDT, so that the team have the opportunity to have any questions answered. If there is a planning meeting EDT can be invited as outlined in the Safeguarding Unborn Children: Pre-Birth Assessment Protocol.

EDT will also need details of the foster placement that has been identified. Contact times/venue and the person responsible for supervising contact should be also identified. Other issues e.g. propensity to violence should also be identified.

It should be noted that that EDT will also assess that the criteria for making an application for an order is met and may have a discussion with an out of hours court clerk, again to determine if the threshold is met for an EPO out of hours.

7. Walsall Residential Establishments

There is an on call officer on duty to cover the outside office hours.

If there are any difficulties, these should be referred by the residential staff to the on call officer who will make a decision as to whether EDT need to be involved, or whether it will be referred to the social work teams the next working day.

There are cases that clearly need to be referred to EDT; such as Child Protection / exploitation concerns, missing children and situations where looked after children have experienced harm or have had an accident. If staff are unsure whether a situation should be pursued as a safeguarding issue then the EDT worker is available to offer advice and guidance and to log and respond to any such concerns.

In cases where there is a death under suspicious circumstances (SUDI) EDT will inform the on call member of SLT.

8. Transfer of Referrals From EDT

Referrals are passed over to the day time teams the next working day on the Mosaic client recording system.

9. Information for EDT

Day time teams should notify EDT if they are likely to be contacted out of hours.

Information that EDT may require should be e-mailed to them on the Information for the EDT form (which is routinely sent to social workers) information should be clear and concise with clarification about what course of action is recommended by the day time team as detailed on the headings of this form. (An EDT alert can also be sent on Mosaic to the EDT duty worker through the start workflow icon).

All referrals/information to EDT must be followed up with a telephone call to ensure that:

  1. EDT have received this information;
  2. To enable the EDT worker to clarify any matters as necessary.

This is particularly important where there are complex issues and further clarification may be required.

It is also beneficial for case records to be up to date and case summary available when necessary on complex and ever-changing cases.