Gateway Service

If you are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person contact the Gateway Service. If you would like to know more please view our Statement of Purpose.

Gateway is the first point of contact for all new referrals to children’s social work service and is responsible for:

  • Making sure that all new referrals are responded to promptly.
  • Linking with children and families to assess their needs and identify appropriate support services.
  • Ensuring an immediate response to safeguard children in need of protection.
  • Making sure children and young people receive ongoing social work support whenever they need it.
  • Ensuring that everyone involved with a child can contribute to the assessment of the child and their family.
  • Working closely with other agencies when additional support is needed.

  • What is Gateway?

    Gateway is a social work service for children and families. It is the first point of contact for people who wish to share a concern about a child/young person who is not already known to social services. It exists to respond quickly to the needs of children and families who are referred for a social work service.

  • The Gateway's Purpose

    The Gateway’s purpose is to work in partnership with children and families to assess their needs and to identify appropriate support services and to ensure an immediate response to safeguard children in need of protection. The service makes sure that everyone involved with a child can make a meaningful contribution to the assessment of the child and his or her family and identify children/young people who need ongoing social work involvement and to access this for them.

    The gateway service also work closely with other agencies when there is a concern about a child/young person or when additional support is needed and make sure that all new referrals are responded to promptly.

  • How we can help you
    • Provide information and advice
    • Visit and speak to children, young people and their families in their own home, to assess what they need
    • Speak to other professionals involved with the family to ensure their views are included in the assessment
    • Refer families to locally based services for additional support when needed
    • Take steps to protect children and young people when this is necessary
    • Keep families and professionals informed throughout the assessment
    • Aim to complete all initial assessments within 10 working days
    • Can provide a written copy of the completed assessment to family and professionals, where appropriate
    • Ensure families and professionals know what happens next
    • Ensure children and families who continue to need a social work service are transferred to their local social work team
Picture of toddler and adult hand

Contact Details

The Gateway Service can be directly contacted for help in the Lisburn, Dunmurry, Moira, Hillsborough, Ballynahinch Downpatrick, Newcastle, Bangor, Newtownards and Comber areas on:

Call us0300 100 0300

Monday to Friday: 9.00am – 5:00pm (excluding public and bank holidays)

Out of Hours

Contact the Emergency Duty Service on:

Call us(028) 9056 5444

Greater Lisburn Gateway Team

Stewartstown Road Health Centre
212 Stewartstown Road
BT17 0FB

North Down Gateway Team

Family Resource Centre
James Street
BT23 4EP

Down Gateway Team 

Children’s Services
81 Market Street
BT30 6LZ