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1.3.1 Guidance on Social Work Practice Outside Normal Working Hours - The Emergency Duty Team


This chapter provides guidance to Social Workers working within the Emergency Duty Team, and to those wishes to access their services.


  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions

1. Introduction

The Emergency Out-of-Hours Service provides an emergency social work service to respond to urgent situations which arise out of normal office hours and which cannot be left with an appropriate degree of safety until the next normal working day. The Service provides crisis support, Mental Health Act Assessments, Child Protection, safeguarding and enabling services, including the fulfilment of statutory obligations and responsibilities of the Boroughs’ Children’s and Adult Services.

The Service is not intended as an alternative means of accessing the usual daily activities of the Borough’s Childcare, Mental Health and Adult Social Care teams, rather the Service is available to help individuals with personal or family problems that reach a crisis out-side of normal office hours, which require immediate attention.

2. Definitions

Definitions used in the Emergency Duty Service section of the manual:

SW social Worker
AMHP Approved Mental Health Professional (an experienced professional trained to undertake mental health act assessments, and decide whether they agree on detaining the patient under the Mental Health Act)

Further material regarding the Emergency Duty Service is provided in the following separate documents: