Report a serious concern about a child (MARF) for professionals
Important information for professionals
This new online referral replaces the old MARF referral on the local safeguarding board website. You should find it easier and faster to complete. The link to the online referral is at the bottom of this page, but please read the following information carefully before you start your referral.
This page and online form referral is for professionals such as teachers, health workers or other staff who work in children's services in Barking and Dagenham. If you are a member of the public and are worried about a child please call us on 020 8227 3811, or if a child is at risk of immediate harm call the police on 999.
Types of abuse
- physical abuse - this may include hitting, shaking, poisoning, burning, scalding or anything that causes physical harm to a child
- sexual abuse and exploitation - this may include forcing, enticing or grooming a child to take part in sexual activities either physically or online
- emotional abuse - this may include verbal abuse, bullying or making a child feel ashamed, humiliated or unwanted
- neglect - this may include children being left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care
For more detailed definitions for each of the above see our safeguarding guide.
If you have concerns that a child is experiencing abuse or neglect you have a duty to take action.
Telephone consultation with the MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub)
Before you make an online referral to us, please phone us for a discussion. We will advise you whether you should report a serious concern about a child or ask for early help instead.
MASH team from 9am to 4:45pm, Monday to Friday
020 8227 3811
Out of hours duty team from 4:45pm to 9am, Monday to Friday, weekends and bank holidays
020 8594 8356
Council thresholds for safeguarding children
Guidance for professionals is available in the multi agency threshold guidance. You should refer to this if you are unsure as to whether you should report a serious concern or ask for early help.
Completing the online referral
The online referral referral will take around 15 to 20 mins to complete although this does depend on the circumstances of the child/family you are referring. You can't save and return to the form at a later time so make sure you give yourself enough time. You can return to previous sections of the form and each section will be saved as long as you don't close the window.
You will need to tell us details about the child and their family, including where they live and their date(s) of birth, so make sure you have these to hand before you start.
You will also be able to upload documents which may help the MASH team with their assessment such as a CAF report or early help assessment, so have these ready to upload too.
Once you submit the online form the MASH team will receive it immediately. A copy of the form will be sent back to you (and your organisation if you request it) straightaway by email.
MASH team 9am to 4:45 pm, Monday to Friday
020 8227 3811
Out of hours duty team 4:45pm to 9am Monday to Friday, weekends and bank holidays
020 8594 8356