Report child abuse or concern about a child

How to make a report

If you think that a child is at risk of being harmed or neglected contact us by:

We will keep your name confidential if you wish. We will carry out a thorough investigation on every case about a child at risk that is reported to us.

What happens when a child at risk is reported to us

If we hear about a child or children who appear to be neglected, ill treated or not thriving, we have a statutory duty to clarify the situation. We will contact the parents and find out if there are any particular problems. Often in such situations we will also wish to talk to the child’s school or health visitor and GP, or any other professional who has information about the family.

Usually what is most helpful for children is to support the family so they can stay together.

However, the law allows us in certain circumstances, to take action to protect a child from abuse or neglect. This may involve calling a child protection conference to consider whether a child needs to have a child protection plan.

In exceptional circumstances the need to protect a child may include removing a child from their home for a short period of time or until the problems at home have been sorted out. Such a step can only be taken by Children’s Social Care with the prior consent of a court or with the agreement of the parents.

Information for professionals

The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) provides triage and multi-agency decision making. If you are concerned about a child or know a child that requires specialist support, you can make a referral to us.

Before making a referral to the MASH

Consider if the child or young person’s needs can be met by services from within your own agency, or by other professionals already working with the family.

If you are unsure and would like a consultation with a social worker, contact the MASH for advice.

When making a referral, always gain consent from parents or carers, except where doing so may increase the risk of harm to the child or young person.

How to make a referral

If you believe that urgent action is needed, in cases where there is a child protection concern, contact the MASH directly on 01344 352005.

For concerns that are not urgent, and where immediate action is not needed, all professionals must follow the multi agency threshold guidance and make either an Early Help referral or a Safeguarding referral.

Make an Early Help referral

Make a safeguarding referral

This will be reviewed by a manager, and once a fuller picture about the case is established, a decision will be made on the most appropriate action to take.

You will be notified of the outcome.

Contact information


01344 352005

Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm.

Outside of these times and on bank holidays, contact the Emergency Duty Service about safeguarding concerns that cannot wait until the next working day.

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