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What to do if you are worried about a child suffering from harm

If you are concerned that a child has suffered harm, neglect or abuse, please contact Portsmouth Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) who can discuss this with you:

  • Out of Office hours:
    Emergency Duty Service – 0300 555 1373

If a child is at immediate risk of harm, call the Police on 999.

Professionals can contact MASH by telephone or email (see details above). This contact should be followed up with a written inter-agency contact form within 48 hours.  For help completing this form please see the one minute guide.

The MASH is multi agency and brings together services such as from social care, education, health, police and children centres. The MASH aims to work together to offer the right help at an early stage to families who need support.

Consent to share

You should seek, in general, to discuss concerns with the family and, where possible seek the family’s agreement to making a referral unless this may, either by delay or the behavioural response it prompts or for any other reason, place the child at increased risk of Significant Harm.

  • A decision by any professional not to seek parental permission before making a referral to Children’s Social Care Services must be approved by their manager, recorded and the reasons given
  • Where a parent has agreed to a referral, this must be recorded and confirmed on the relevant referral form
  • Where the parent is consulted and refuses to give permission for the referral, further advice and approval should be sought from a manager or the Designated Senior Person or Named Professional, unless to do so would cause undue delay. The outcome of the consultation and any further advice should be fully recorded

All recording with regards to consent to share information should be included in the inter-agency referral form and kept on individual organisation’s record systems.

Please see the 4LSCB Child Protection Procedures

You can also find further information on the latest Department for Education campaign Child Abuse. If you think it, report it

Child Exploitation & Online Protection (CEOP)

CEOP is there to support, help and advise young people, parents and carers and the professionals who work with them

It also enables people to immediately report anything online which they find concerning, such as harmful or inappropriate content, or possible grooming behaviour. See our On-line safety page to find out more

For more information or to report a concern click here

If another member of staff or volunteer is worrying you

If you are worried a member of staff/ volunteer behaviour towards children, please see information on the LADO. See our Allegations and Whistleblowing page to find out more