Information for professionals –
how to make a referral

We welcome referrals from all agencies seeking services for children under 5 and their families, including pre-birth support.

There are a number of ways to refer a family for Birmingham Forward Steps services (Health Visiting and Children’s Centre Services).

For Children’s Centre services, you can refer by completing the BFS Request for Service Form, ensuring all fields are completed. Please use the postcode search on the home page to identify which Children’s Centre your referral needs to be submitted to.

Contact Details for CC Request for Service

The referral form can be for access to groups or targeted family support interventions. Mandatory fields are indicated with a red asterisk (*) and all reference pick lists can be found on page 5 of the BFS referral form.

Childcare Plus (formally Corporate Childcare)

The way you access Corporate Childcare funding has changed. From Thursday 1 March, the new service, Birmingham Forward Steps, will be managing the Childcare Funding at a District Level.

We have had to reduce the level of funding available for Childcare places which is now assigned to districts based on deprivation and need.

The criteria for allocation of the funding has changed. Childcare Plus Funding is now allocated against the following three criteria:

  1. Children for whom there are concerns about their physical and emotional wellbeing as a result of the care they receive or the environment in which they live
  2. Children whose behaviour and/or development give serious cause for concern
  3. Attendance at Children’s Centre is part of a family support plan/package of support.

If you feel the needs of the family match the criteria submit a BFS Request for Service Form. You are encouraged to contact the appropriate Children’s Centre Hub before you submit a referral. Your referral will be taken to a weekly Integrated Allocation Meeting to be considered. You will be notified of the outcome and next steps.

If you wish to contact a health visitor and you know which team they are in then please make direct contact with the relevant team. If you are unsure of which health visiting team you require then please contact the central number for health visiting services on 0121 466 6439/6243.


Consent for referral for a BFS service is required. If the request is for family support at universal plus level or above then signed, informed consent is required.


If you wish to discuss a potential referral before submitting a request form, then please contact the relevant Children’s Centre by telephone and we will be happy to discuss potential referrals and provide more detail about the services available to families.

Please note, there is no change to how professionals refer into Birmingham City Council Early Help and Safeguarding Services via CASS (i.e. EHA and Signs of Safety/request for support form).

Birmingham Forward Steps aims to


Support children to lead health lifestyles with advice on healthy diet and staying active

Keep children safe

Ensure children develop well physically, emotionally and socially help keep children safe

Advise families

Advise families on parenting and emotional wellbeing and offer extra family support when situations are challenging

Create opportunities

Support communities to develop accessible services that families really want by creating opportunities to listen to local people and develop new services together