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What to do if you think a child is at risk of abuse or neglect

Immediate danger

If you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.

Immediate concern

The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the front door to Children’s Social Care for all child protection and immediate safeguarding concerns. If there is an immediate safeguarding concern where a child is deemed at risk or has potentially suffered significant harm, the MASH team should be contacted immediately.

For example:

  • Allegations/concerns that the child has been sexually/physically abused.
  • Concerns that the child is suffering from severe neglect or other severe health risks.
  • Concern that a child is living in or will be returned to a situation that may place him/her at immediate risk.
  • The child is frightened to return home.
  • The child has been abandoned or parent is absent.

If you have a concern about a child, please call MASH on 0345 050 7666 during office hours (8.30am – 5pm, Monday to Thursday, 8.30am – 4pm, Friday)

Outside office hours call the Emergency Duty Team on 0800 833 408

Find out more about the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and referral process.

Concerns or allegations about a professional working with children

If you are a practitioner and have concerns about another practitioner or volunteer who works with children, or you need to report them, you will need to contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on 01865 810603.

A LADO covers all settings where people work with children e.g. football clubs, church groups, child minders. They should be made aware of all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children