Our users are professionals who use ‘Connect families to support’ to complete a form to request a voluntary and community sector (VCS) service contacts a family.

We previously explored advising users about safeguarding concerns. We identified that the start page would be an appropriate place for content to tell users not to use the service to report new safeguarding concerns.

Our design question was: How do we give a warning to not use for service to report safeguarding concerns on the start page?

Original design using warning text component

In the original design, a warning was included midway in the start page content. The warning text component from the GOV.UK Design System was used to highlight it was important information, on the start page in a callout box.

The content was:

We gave users the link to Report child abuse to give an alternative route for reporting safeguarding concerns.

A screenshot showing the position of the warning text on the start page, as described above.

Iterating the warning text

We used the same insight from advising users about safeguarding concerns. The insight was that the phrasing of the warning could prevent professionals from making requests for support for families where there is known risk, but when that is the reason they are being referred. We also learned about the existence of the NHS Safeguarding app. The app provides information about how to raise safeguarding concerns in different local authorities.

The new content is:

Do not use this service to report safeguarding concerns.

Use the NHS safeguarding app for guidance on reporting safeguarding concerns.

For consistency, we iterated the content to match the interruption page within the service. We are currently considering which is the appropriate place in the journey and whether it is necessary to repeat the information.

Positioning the warning text on the start page

We looked at the GOV.UK Design System Pattern for helping users to start using a service. We considered whether the content should be in a ‘before you start’ section below the start button, rather than a warning text component above the button.

We had insight from user research conducted by service teams at Department of Work and Pensions and Government Digital Service that users do not read text which is under start buttons. Putting the text below the action means it’s likely to be missed by users using screen readers or zoom. For these reasons, we have kept the content above the start button, and used the warning component.