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Safeguarding at risk children

There are different types of abuse that can place a child at risk:

  • physical abuse such as punching, hitting or burning
  • sexual abuse such as forcing a child to take part in any sexual activity
  • emotional harm such as making a child feel unloved or useless or constantly putting them down
  • neglect means not providing a child with enough for their basic needs. For example, enough food, clothes, medical care

Report a safeguarding issue

If you think a child may be suffering or are concerned that a child has suffered harm, neglect or abuse in the past, please contact us on 020 8227 3811. If a child is at immediate risk of harm call the police on 999. 

If you are a child care professional (teachers, health workers, and other children's workers)  we have specific advice and an online referral form you can complete. 

Report a serious concern about a child for professionals (MARF)  

Signs a child may be at risk

Physical abuse

Signs which may suggest physical abuse include:

  • multiple bruising to different parts of the body
  • fingertip bruising to the chest, back, arms or legs
  • burns of any shape or size
  • an injury for which there is no adequate explanation

Sexual abuse

Signs which may suggest sexual abuse include:

  • something a child has told you or someone else
  • a child who shows worrying sexualised behaviour in their play
  • a child who seems to have inappropriate sexual knowledge for their age

Emotional harm

Signs which may suggest emotional harm include children:

  • whose behaviour is excessive, for example, excessive bed wetting, overeating, rocking or head banging
  • who self harm, for example, they may cut or scratch themselves or overdose
  • who show high levels of anxiety, unhappiness or withdrawal
  • who usually seek out or avoid affection


Signs which may suggest neglect include:

  • children who appear persistently undersized or underweight
  • children who continually appear tired or lacking in energy
  • children who suffer injuries often due to lack of supervision
  • squalid, unhygienic or dangerous home conditions

If you think a child may be suffering or are concerned that a child has suffered harm, neglect or abuse in the past, use the contact details below to let us know. 

In an emergency outside normal office hours, call the police on 999.


Bullying can happen to anyone at any age. Being bullied at school, home or online is upsetting for both parents and children.

There is help available if your child is being bullied. The following organisations can offer advice and help:




Safeguarding your child

As a parent or carer you want to make sure your child is safe, happy and well-looked after. You try and protect them from abuse or neglect and help them grow up into confident, healthy and happy adults.

When choosing a childcare provider, you can use the checklists below to establish that your child will be cared for in a safe environment.

Childminder checklist (PDF, 56 KB)

Childcare provider checklist (PDF, 35.32 KB)

Child sexual exploitation

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.

CSE can happen to both genders. Boys and young men are just as likely to be targeted as victims of CSE by perpetrators. However they may be less likely to disclose offences or seek support, often due to stigma, prejudice or embarrassment or the fear that they will not be believed. They may see themselves as able to protect themselves but in cases of CSE physical stature is irrelevant due to the coercion and manipulation used.

Find out more about CSE

Stop CSE

Say something if you see something!

Call Children’s Services if you have any concerns. You can also call the police on 111 or if you suspect that a crime is actually in progress, call the police on 999.

Children’s Services Duty and Assessment Team

020 8227 3811

Emergency Duty Team (out of hours)

020 8594 8356

CSE Awareness Day, 18 March

Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day aims to highlight the issues surrounding CSE, by encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children or children developing inappropriate relationships with other children.

Stop CSE Awareness Day

Safeguarding for childcare practitioners

All practitioners should have an up-to-date understanding of safeguarding children issues and be able to implement the safeguarding children policy and procedure appropriately.

Our safeguarding guide will help early years and childcare settings with their safeguarding procedures.

Safeguarding guide (PDF, 1.32 MB)

All policies used should be in line with local safeguarding children board's local guidance and procedures. Barking and Dagenham Local Safeguarding Children Board is a statutory body responsible for ensuring that all agencies who work with children and young people in Barking and Dagenham work together to promote the welfare and safety of children in the local area. It coordinates the work of local agencies and ensure that this work is carried out in an effective way.

Updated safeguarding guidelines

This guidance has been produced by targeted family support service to support all early years and childcare providers and children’s centres to fulfil their statutory duty to safeguard children.

If you are a home childcarer in a different borough (not Barking and Dagenham) you will need to contact that local authority to get a copy of their safeguarding guidelines.

Updated safeguarding guidelines (DOC, 506 KB)

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) referral form

Section one must be completed and emailed immediately to the local authority designated officer (LADO) if it is alleged that a person who works with children has had an allegation made against them.

LADO referral monitoring form (DOC, 77KB)

Staff capability to safeguard children

It is essential that you follow the steps below and that regardless of how trivial or serious you think the allegation or the safeguarding issue is, that you do not delay in contacting the local authority designated officer (LADO).

If an allegation is made by a parent, child or other practitioner against a member of staff, or a child is lost or goes even temporarily missing you must adhere to the following procedure:

  • complete part 1 of the LADO referral monitoring form (DOC, 169 KB), and email to lado@lbbd.gcsx.gov.uk
  • this must be done within 24 hours of receiving the allegation
  • do not discuss the allegation with the staff member concerned
  • follow up your referral with a telephone call to 020 8227 2265 to ensure the referral has been received and to discuss the next step with local authority designated officer (LADO) Lorraine Giles or safeguarding lead for education and schools Mike Cullern
  • the LADO will then discuss with you how to proceed
  • the LADO will discuss the options available, including advice on the position of the member of staff and whether suspension or other steps should be considered to safeguard the child and staff member, as well as what to tell the parents
  • you must not discuss any of the details of the allegation with the member of staff concerned – the LADO will advise you if you can tell them that an allegation has been made and what child protection procedures must be followed – in some circumstances you may be advised that you cannot tell them anything at this stage
  • based on your discussion you will be advised whether you will need to complete a multi-agency referral form (MARF)
  • you will need to send the MARF to the referral officers at childrenss@lbbd.gov.uk
  • a strategy meeting may then be arranged
  • you must inform Ofsted
  • you may be asked to conduct your own internal investigation once a decision has been made about a criminal investigation or other single agency investigation

Body maps

Body maps should be used if an accident occurs or if there is a safeguarding concern.

Body map (PDF, 25 KB)

What to do if you have concerns about a child’s welfare

If you have concerns about a child’s welfare:

  • record your concern: noting date, time, what you saw or what you were you told. Use a body map to record unexplained marks etc, and add your signature
  • report these concerns to your nominated safeguarding officer
  • the nominated safeguarding officer must discuss the concerns with:
    • children’s services duty and assessment team
    • LBBD multi agency safeguarding hub (MASH) 020 8227 3811 or
    • out of hours emergency duty social worker after 4.45pm on 020 8594 8356
  • you may be advised to complete a common assessment framework (CAF) or
  • advice will be given whether to complete a multi agency referral form (MARF) Barking & Dagenham Safeguarding Children Board
  • you must send the MARF to the referral officers at childrenss@lbbd.gov.uk 020 8227 3811
  • you must ensure you receive confirmation of the receipt of the MARF within three days. It is your duty to follow this up
  • out of hours emergency duty social worker on 020 8594 8356, you must ask for the emergency duty social worker. This call will go through to a central call centre and there may be a delay before you can speak to a social worker
  • if you have any concerns about a child’s safety and parental responsibility at the time of collection you must contact the police on 999 immediately.


  • recognise
  • record
  • report
  • refer
  • receipt

Safeguarding recording sheet

A document to use if you need to make recordings about a child relating to safeguarding, if recording please make sure you inform your EYDO (early years development officer).

Safeguarding recording sheet (PDF, 20.93 KB)

Risk assessments

Guidance and formats to support risk assessing in your setting as well as the outdoors, to help safeguard the children in your care.

Risk assessment: sample policy statement (DOC, 868.5 KB)

Risk assessment: childminder home setting, completed example (DOC, 87.5 KB)

Risk assessment: childminder, walking to park example (DOC, 49 KB)

Risk assessment: childminder, blank (DOC, 42 KB)

Risk assessment: key points for supporting practitioners (DOCX, 16.3 KB)

Risk assessment: my ability to care for children (DOC, 47 KB)

Fire safety record log (DOC, 39.5 KB)

Daily visual check (DOCX, 18.2 KB)

Contact us

Assessment Team

Ground floor, Roycraft House, 15 Linton Road, Barking IG11 8HE

020 8227 3811