Making A Referral

At Early Break we accept referrals for any young person using drugs or alcohol within our age ranges.  Referrals can be taken directly from young people, their parents/carers and family members and from a range of statutory and voluntary services such as education, health and Childrens Social Care.  We are open to receiving referrals from any source.  Referrals can be taken over the phone or sent via fax or post by downloading our referral form (above).  If you would like to discuss a possible referral please contact us and we can talk this through with you.

Referral Criteria

Bury – up to and including the age of 18
Rochdale – up to and including the age of 21

What Happens When a Referral is Made?

When a referral is received at the Early Break office it is passed to a manager for allocation to an Advocacy worker.  ‘Advocacy Worker’ is that name that we give to our 1:1 workers.  Within 24 hours, other than at week ends and bank holidays, the Advocacy Worker will try and make contact with the young person and the person who has referred them to Early Break.  The Advocacy Worker and the young person will decide a time to meet which is convenient for the young person, this can be in the evening if you wish.  Where we see the young person is also important, it has to be a safe and comfortable environment for the young person and advocacy worker.

Early Break is a confidential service and we work within safeguarding guidelines which means at times information may have to be shared regarding the young person.  Early Break believe that it is important that a young person understands why any such information is shared and will do their best, if appropriate, to explain to the young person and their parents/carers why any information is going to be shared before doing so.

When they first meet the Advocacy Worker they will discuss with the young person the reasons why they have been referred to Early Break and what support they would like to receive.  The next stage of the process is for the Advocacy worker to obtain consent to work with the young person.  If the young person is aged over 16 they are able to consent to their own treatment.  At this age parents and carers do not have to know that their young person is working with Early Break but we do like parents and carers to be aware of, and if appropriate involved with, a young person’s Early Break treatment.

If the young person is under the age of 16 Early Break require consent for their treatment from a parent or carer.  If there is a reason why a young person’s parent or carer cannot know about their involvement with Early Break, for example it may put them at risk of significant harm, the Advocacy worker can assess the competence of the young person to consent to their own treatment. This involves completing a ‘Consent and Competency’ form and in consultation with senior management making a decision as to whether or not the young person can engage with Early break without their parents/carers knowing.  This is something that is constantly reviewed and discussed with the young person and as soon as appropriate the Advocacy Worker will support the young person to inform their parents and carers about their involvement with Early Break.


If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with us where you can speak to a member of our team confidentially. You can contact us by heading over to our “Contact Us” page for all of our contact details.