Report child abuse

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

If you have a concern about a child, please call MASH on 0345 050 7666.

Reporting abuse

If you are a professional

Helping you understand the front door to Children's Services.

Immediate concerns about a child

The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) will remain 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.

You should call the MASH immediately on 0345 050 7666.

This number will take you through to Customer Services who will ask a series of questions and triage into MASH where safeguarding concerns are raised.

  • Office hours (8.30am – 5pm, Monday to Thursday, 8.30am – 4pm, Friday): Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
  • Outside office hours: Emergency Duty Team: 0800 833 408

A no names consultation should not be used for the above scenarios.

Non-immediate concerns about a child

If you have a concern about a child/family but it is not an immediate safeguarding concern, then you should look at the Threshold of Needs matrix in the Multi-Agency Toolkit.

This tool is designed to support professionals to make decisions as to whether contact needs to be made with Children's Services and if so which team.

For Non-Immediate concerns, you can contact your Locality and Community Support Service

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

If you are a child/young person

If you are a child or young person and you are being abused or neglected please contact us on one of the following numbers:

  • Office hours (8.30am – 5pm, Monday to Thursday, 8.30am – 4pm, Friday): Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub: 0345 050 7666
  • Outside office hours: Emergency Duty Team: 0800 833 408

If you are a parent or carer

If you feel you are harming your child or are close to doing so please contact us on one of the following numbers:

  • Office hours (8.30am – 5pm, Monday to Thursday, 8.30am – 4pm, Friday): Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub: 0345 050 7666
  • Outside office hours: Emergency Duty Team: 0800 833 408

Sexual exploitation

Child sexual exploitation is when children and young people receive something (such as food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, or money) as a result of performing, and/or others performing on them, sexual activities.

Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of the internet or on mobile phones.

In all cases, those exploiting the child or young person have power over them because of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or resources. For victims, the pain of their ordeal and fear that they will not be believed means they are too often scared to come forward.

Find out more about child sexual exploitation.

Concerns or allegations about a professional working with children

If you are a professional and have concerns about another professional or volunteer who works with children, or you need to report them, you will need to contact the Local Authority Designated Officer.

What happens when child abuse is reported?

Our aim is to support families and help them care for their children. If a family is in difficulty it is much better for the children if we can work together to improve things.

We may work with the family and other agencies to improve the situation and make sure that the child is safe or we may put the family in touch with other services.

Where families are unable or unwilling to work with us and the children are at risk of harm we will together with schools, health services or whoever else is in touch with the family to ensure that the children are safe. Our aim will still be to help and support but we do work with the police Child Protection Unit if it is thought that a crime may have been committed.

Child protection plans

If a child is thought to be at serious risk of harm through abuse or neglect a child protection conference will be held to which family members are usually invited. At this meeting, a child protection plan may be drawn up to help ensure the safety and welfare of the child(ren) and to help their family care safely for them.

In a very small number of cases, children cannot remain safely at home. When this happens it is may be necessary for the local authority to obtain a court order. Whenever possible, if a child has to leave his or her own home, they will be cared for by relatives or friends. Every effort is made to return children to their own home as soon as possible.

Further information is available at the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board website.

The Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board

As we know from child abuse enquiries it is essential to the safety of children that professionals and agencies work well together and, where necessary share information. The Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB) is responsible for ensuring that there is effective inter-agency working in the county.

The Board has representatives from all agencies who work with children and young people in Oxfordshire. You can find more information on the OSCB website.

NSPCC helpline

You can also get advice and help from NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or get help via email on