Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board


Welcome to the Professionals pages

safeguarding children

Welcome to the LSCB Professionals pages. Here you will find key information, resources and links to support you in work to safeguard children.

Visit our Training tab to find out about courses and learning events available to you

Visit our resource pages for front line professionals or managers for tools and documents you are likely to need in your work with children and families

Have you seen the latest LSCB newsletter and bulletin?

Allegations Against Professionals

Making a referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer and Possible Outcomes

The LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) provides advice and guidance to employers and other individuals/organisations who have concerns relating to an adult who works with children and young people (including volunteers, agency staff and foster carers) or who is in a position of authority and having regular contact with children (eg religious leaders or school governors).

There may be concerns about workers who have:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child, or behaved in other ways that suggests they may be unsuitable to work with children

What should be referred to the LADO?

Any concern that meets the criteria above should be referred. Initially it may be unclear how serious the allegation is. If there's any doubt, the LADO or the designated safeguarding lead person in your agency should be contacted for advice.

What the LADO does:

The first step will be to offer an initial consultation about the concern. This may consist of advice and guidance regarding the most appropriate way of managing the allegation. The LADO will: 

  • help establish what the 'next steps' should be in terms of investigating the matter further
  • liaise with the police and other agencies, and arrange for an allegations meeting to be held if required; if the case is complex there may be a series of meetings
  • monitor and maintain an overview of cases to ensure they're dealt with as quickly as possible consistent with a thorough and fair process
  • ensure child protection procedures are initiated where the child is considered to be at risk of significant harm
  • ensure the appropriate agencies are involved in the investigation
  • ensure advice is provided in relation to the adult's remaining in post over the course of the investigation
  • ensure issues of sharing information with parents and other relevant individuals are considered
  • assist an employer in decisions about a person's suitability to remain in the children's workforce, and whether a referral should be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or the appropriate regulatory or professional body
  • In cases where the adult is unaware of the concern or allegation, it may not be appropriate to tell them immediately and may prejudice a potential police investigation. The LADO will provide advice.


 The outcomes from a LADO referral may include:

  • finding that the allegation is malicious
  • finding that the allegation is unsubstantiated
  • finding that the allegation is substantiated
  • finding that the allegation is false
  • finding that the allegation is unfounded
  • internal investigation by the employer including consideration of  disciplinary procedures
  • a police investigation
  • police prosecution
  • Where the adult is reinstated there may be recommendations in relation to additional support, monitoring or training.
  • Where an individual is dismissed from their post, a referral must be made to the DBS which makes decisions on whether individuals should be barred from working with children.
  • Compromise agreements are not an acceptable resolution to a concern, and even if someone resigns it should not prevent a full and thorough investigation into the matter.

LADO Protocol & Procedure - April 2018

To make a referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), please email a LADO Referral Form to LewishamLADO@Lewisham.gov.uk

Current LADO Contact Details:

Finola Owens, London Borough of Lewisham, 1st Floor Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, SE6 4RU

Office Tel:   020 8314 3114

Quality Assurance Duty Desk: 020 8314 9177

Quality Assurance Team Manager:  020 8314 7280

Useful Links

London Child Protection Procedures

London Safeguarding Children's Board

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015

Keeping Children Safe in Education

Children & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being Strategy for Children & Young People

CAMHS Infrastructure

Lewisham CAMHS is Tier 3 Service offering therapeutic interventions to children and young people up to the age of 18 who experience enduring moderate to serious/complex mental health concerns that impact on daily living. Professions represented within CAMHS include:

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Family Therapists
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapists
  • Mental Health Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Therapeutic Social Workers

Lewisham CAMHS Services Summary and Contact Information

Services are located across three sites within the Lewisham Borough:

1. Kaleidoscope:  Lewisham Centre for Children & Young People, 32 Rushey Green, Catford. SE6 4JF, Tel: 020 7138 1250

Generic team & Crisis Team

Children & young people up to the age of 18 living in Lewisham with a serious and enduring mental health problem, including presentations at Lewisham Hospital A&E

Neuro-Developmental Teams (NDT)

Children & young people up to the age of 18 with a diagnosed significant neurological condition including Autism Spectrum Disorder or moderate to more severe learning disability with a severe and enduring mental health problem.

Paediatric Liason Team

Children & young people with a medical condition, such as diabetes, where psychological support or treatment for the condition is required, physical complaints have been thoroughly investigated and there is continuing report of symptoms of illness 

2. Lewisham Park: 78 Lewisham Park, London SE13 6QJ Tel: 020 3228 1000

Young people up to the age of 18 with acute mental health difficulties.

SYMBOL Team (Looked After Children)

Children and young people with serious and enduring mental health difficulties who are:

  • looked after by the Lewisham Local Authority
  • Looked after by other authorities but placed in Lewisham
  • Adopted children / Children on Special Guardianship Orders

Functional Family Therapy Team (FFT)

Intensive outreach family therapy for young people and their families where the young person has persistent and significant conduct problems at home, school or in the community. 

The Lewisham Functional Family Therapy team takes referrals from Lewisham CAMHS, Lewisham YOS, the Pupil Referral Units, plus Sedgehill and Prendergast Ladywell Schools.

3. Holbeach: 9 Holbeach, Catford, London SE6 4TW, Tel: 020 8314 9742

Adolescent Resource and Therapy Service (ART’S)

Young people up to the age of 18 who have offended or are at risk of offending and have serious and enduring mental health difficulties.


Please refer to the CAMHS Referral Criteria for full information on services and referrals.

When making a referral to Lewisham CAMHS please use our CAMHS Referral Form.

Non urgent referrals for CAMHS teams based at Kaleidoscope can be emailed to: LewishamCAMHSAdmin@slam.nhs.uk

If you have any urgent concerns about a child or young person’s mental health or a referral query please contact the CAMHS Duty Team at Kaleidoscope Tel: 020 7138 1250 (available Monday to Friday 9-5 excluding bank holidays)

Out of hours: Please advise the Parent/Carer to contact the child/young person’s G.P, or in an emergency, if it is felt that the child/young person is not able to be kept safe, send them to their local A&E.

South London and Maudsley NHS – Crisis Support Line Tel: 0800 731 2864 is available 24 hours a day if you need urgent help or advice.

Lewisham CAMHS Safeguarding Children Infrastructure and Contact Information:

Sophie Roberts is the Lead Nurse Safeguarding Children Lewisham CAMHS


Telephone: 0203 0491293 Lewisham CAMHS, Kaleidoscope, 32 Rushey Green, Catford, London SE6 4JF

Wendy Geraghty is the Lead Doctor Safeguarding Children Lewisham CAMHS


Telephone: 0203 2281000

Lewisham CAMHS, 78 Lewisham Park, London SE13 6QJ

Mark Perry is Service Manager Lewisham CAMHS


Telephone: 0207 138 1250

Lewisham CAMHS, Kaleidoscope, 32 Rushey Green, Catford, London SE6 4JF

Useful links

Child & Adolescent Mental Health – Young Minds

Royal College of Psychiatrists


Kooth - free online service that offers emotional and mental health support for children and young people

MindEd - free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for adults

Domestic Violence & Abuse

Domestic abuse is defined as “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, co-ercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Domestic abuse can also include forced marriage and so-called “honour crimes”.

Controlling and co-ercive behaviour

Domestic abuse is often thought of as physical, such as hitting, slapping or beating, but it can also be controlling or co-ercive behaviour. This is important as what might look like an isolated incident of violent abuse could be taking place in a context of controlling or co-ercive behaviour.

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or independent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Co-ercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

We know that the first incident reported to the police or other agencies is rarely the first incident to occur; often people have been subject to violence and abuse on multiple occasions before they seek help.

Learning resources to support health and social work in situations of coercive control 

A new set of learning resources for social workers, safeguarding leads, and health and social care practitioners, provides information and guidance on how to recognise and respond to coercive and controlling behaviour in intimate or family relationships.

Supporting the non-abusing parent in a holistic way that acknowledges the impacts of coercive control is important in achieving good outcomes for children. Research showed that children also experience the impacts of coercive control of a parent; for example, becoming isolated from family and friends, finding it difficult to gain independence, and feeling disempowered. The resources, which include five detailed case studies, will support practitioners to improve their understanding of the dynamics of power and control that underpin domestic abuse, enabling them to build trusting relationships with children and survivors.

The examples, tools and videos bring together evidence from research, practitioner experience, and the voice of people using services, to enable professionals to put the law into practice and improve support for people who are experiencing coercive control.  

The Chief Social Worker’s Office at the Department of Health commissioned the materials, which were developed by Research in Practice for Adults and Women’s Aid.  http://coercivecontrol.ripfa.org.uk/

Safeguarding children exposed to domestic abuse

Children who live in families where there is domestic abuse can suffer serious long-term emotional and psychological effects. Even if they are not physically harmed or do not witness acts of violence, they can pick up on the tensions and harmful interactions between adults. Children of any age are affected by domestic violence and abuse. At no age will they be unaffected by what is happening, even when they are in the womb.

The physical, psychological and emotional effects of domestic violence on children can be severe and long-lasting. Some children may become withdrawn and find it difficult to communicate. Others may act out the aggression they have witnessed, or blame themselves for the abuse. All children living with abuse are under stress.

Professionals should:

  • Consider the presence of domestic abuse as an indicator of the need to assess a child’s need for support and protection
  • Make sure the child’s experiences and views are captured and included. In contexts where the safety of the adult victim is seen as the main priority this can dominate people’s immediate thinking and action, and children’s voices can be lost.

  • Use the Safe Lives Risk Checklist for the identification of high risk cases of domestic abuse, stalking and ‘honour’-based violence. 

Safe Lives, a national domestic abuse charity, has created a toolkit practitioners and front-line workers can use to identify high risk cases of domestic abuse, stalking and ‘honour’-based violence. The purpose of the checklist is to give a consistent and simple-to-use tool to practitioners who work with victims of domestic abuse in order to help them identify those who are at high risk of harm and whose cases should be referred to a MARAC meeting in order to manage the risk.

The toolkit has been endorsed by agencies such as the police (Association of Chief Police Officers), National Centre for Domestic Violence, and CAFCASS, who believe that the primary audience should be front line practitioners working with victims of domestic abuse who are represented at MARAC. This will include both domestic abuse specialists such as IDVAs and generic practitioners such as those working in a primary care health service or housing.

Locally, both the Adult’s and Children’s Safeguarding Board (LSAB / LSCB), as well as the Safer Lewisham Partnership (SLP) have agreed that all agencies in Lewisham working with, or supporting families at risk of domestic violence are expected to use the risk checklist. This is vitally important because using an evidence based risk identification tool increases the likelihood of the victim being responded to appropriately and therefore, of addressing the risks they face. The risk checklist gives practitioners common criteria and a common language of risk.

Safe Lives have produced an updated version of the RIC, which now includes comprehensive guidance explaining each risk question, how they can be asked, as well as practice points. There is also a frequently asked questions page with some useful tips on the checklist. The Safe Lives website has helpful resources about other ways your agency may access support, training or download the checklist in other languages. The Lewisham Safeguarding Children’s Board also offers annual training on the use of the checklist which is free for all professionals in the borough to attend, however, for more questions about the use of the RIC, access to training, and questions about domestic violence MARAC process, please visit www.lewisham.gov.uk/vawg or contact the Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG) Programme Manager on vawg@lewisham.gov.uk

Safeguarding high-risk victims of domestic violence and abuse – referring to the MARAC

The Lewisham Domestic Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) is a risk management meeting where professionals share information on high and very high risk cases of domestic violence or abuse and put in place a risk management plan. The aim of the meeting is to address the safety of the victim, children and agency staff and to review and co-ordinate service provision in high risk domestic violence cases. 

To be referred to the MARAC the individual must reside in the London Borough of Lewisham, be over the age of 16, be currently experiencing domestic violence or abuse (according to the cross Government definition of domestic violence)[1] and be assessed as being at high or very high risk of harm of domestic violence or abuse in accordance with the Lewisham MARAC referral risk criteria. In order to assess whether a case meets the risk threshold, the Safe Lives DASH MARAC risk indicator checklist should be completed by the referring agency.

A tailored action plan will be developed at the MARAC to reduce the risk to the victim, children, other vulnerable parties and any staff and to ensure that the risk the perpetrator presents is managed appropriately. Examples of actions that will be agreed include flagging and tagging of files, referral to other appropriate multi-agency meetings, prioritising of agencies’ resources to MARAC cases. 

Any service agency signed up to the MARAC Information Sharing Protocol may refer a case to the MARAC using the Lewisham MARAC Referral Form, and all agencies should be actively screening for domestic violence or abuse. Referrals should be submitted to each agency’s MARAC representative. Please contact your line manager to find out who your agency’s MARAC representative is. 

For more questions about the use of the MARAC, access to training, and questions about the process, please visit www.lewisham.gov.uk/vawg or contact the Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG) Programme Manager on vawg@lewisham.gov.uk , or the MARAC Coordinator on dvmarac@lewisham.gov.uk

[1] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-violence-and-abuse

For further information

Letter to partners on the use of the DV risk assessment

visit www.saferlondon.co.uk/safer-lewisham

See the Domestic Violence information in our practice procedures

Useful Links:

Resources: http://imkaan.org.uk/resources

MOPAC VAWG Strategy 2018-2021

MOPAC Domestic and Sexual Violence Dashboard

Home Office Resources for Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG)

Early Help & the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

Parental Consent

The MASH is a consent-based model. Professionals dealing with suspected child neglect, abuse or need for support, will endeavour to work in partnership with parents. This means the professional will:

  • be open and honest with parents about the concerns they have about a child or children
  • explain to parents, before making a referral, how the MASH team will share information about the child and family to get the best possible picture about the child’s circumstances.

If the referring professional believes that seeking consent for sharing information with the MASH would place a child at further risk of harm or cause unnecessary delay, they may refer the child without parental consent, but must explain why this is the case. If in doubt please contact the MASH on 020 8314 6660 for further discussion.

The Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) provides a single point of access for all professionals to report safeguarding concerns to children’s social care. Professionals can also request commissioned targeted family support through the multi-agency early help panel.

For urgent child protection referrals, contact the MASH on 020 8314 9181. If you think a child or young person may be in immediate danger, call 999 or contact your local police on 101.

Making a MASH request

If, as a professional, you have safeguarding concerns or are requesting commissioned family support for targeted early help, you can use the online MASH request form or the MASH Referral Form - Word Version, after reading the below information.

Please note that residents and other members of the public can still make referrals in person or over the phone.

All requests that come through the MASH will be triaged by the multi-agency team and you may be contacted by a professional representing your agency to discuss your request.

Before you make a request

The following information will help you determine if you need to make a MASH request, and which part of the MASH request form you need to use:

  • Our continuum of need document will help you assess the level of support needed or risks present. Professionals should refer to the Continuum of Need Document and it's Guidance before making a MASH request.
  • If you believe a child and their family need some additional support you should discuss this with the family first and agree who is best placed to provide that support. .
  • If you think a child or family has needs at the targeted level, which are not being met by services currently involved with the family, you can make a referral using the MASH Request Form - Online or the MASH Referral Form - Word Version .and request help and support.  It will be expected that you have completed an Early Help Assessment. (please refer to the Early Help Assessment Guidance) and convened a Team Around the Family Meeting using the Plan, Review & Closure Form at Level 2 of the Continuum of Need.   Please attach completed Early Help Assessments, Plan Review & Closure forms with your referral. This is a consent based model and you will need to have obtained the consent on the Early Help Referral but also to share information from the parent(s) / carer(s) and the child if they are Gillick / Fraser competent (please see the Information Sharing & Consent page).
  • If you are a professional (e.g. CAFCASS, probation, housing conducting statutory safeguarding checks, assessments), working with a child and you require supporting information from children’s social care records use MASH Request Form - Online or the MASH Referral Form - Word Version the form to make a Statutory Request for Information.
  • If you are worried that a child is at risk of significant harm through abuse or neglect, please call the MASH immediately on 020 8314 9181 to discuss your concerns and then use the MASH Request Form - Online or the MASH Referral Form - Word Version to request child protection from the MASH.
  • If you are unsure about whether or not to make a MASH request, please contact the MASH Consultation Helpline on 020 8314 6660
  • If you are unsure about how to apply the levels of need for Early Help or you need support around the Early Help process and tools, please contact the Early Help Team Consultation Helpline on 020 8314 7333.

Opening hours are Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm.  If you have concerns about the welfare of a child outside of these hours, please contact the Emergency Duty Team on 020 8314 6000 and ask to speak to the out-of-hours duty social worker.

Other Documents:

Early Help Strategy

Plan, Review & Closure Form

Early Help Leaflet for children and families.




Escalation Policy - Resolving Professional Differences / Escalation

Having different professional perspectives within safeguarding practice is a sign of a healthy and well-functioning partnership. These differences of opinion are usually resolved by discussion and negotiation between the professionals concerned. It is essential that where differences of opinion arise they do not adversely affect the outcomes for children and young people, and are resolved in a constructive and timely manner.

Differences could arise in a number of areas of multi-agency working as well as within single agency working. Differences are most likely to arise in relation to;

  • Criteria for referrals
  • Outcomes of assessments
  • Roles and responsibilities of workers
  • Service provision
  • Timeliness of interventions
  • Information sharing and communication

If you have difference of opinion with another professional, remember:

  • Professional differences and disagreements can help us find better ways improve outcomes for children and young people
  • All professionals are responsible for their own cases, and their actions in relation to case work
  • Differences and disagreements should be resolved as simply and quickly as possible, in the first instance by individual practitioners and /or their line managers
  • All practitioners should respect the views of others whatever the level of experience. Remember that challenging more senior or experienced practitioners can be hard
  • Expect to be challenged; working together effectively depends on an open approach and honest relationships between agencies
  • Professional differences are reduced by clarity about roles and responsibilities and the ability to discuss and share problems in networking forums

Where immediate resolution cannot be found, professionals should make accurate records of discussions and correspondence and follow the LSCB Escalation Policy.  When making a referral to the LSCB please email safeguardingboard@lewisham.gov.uk with a completed Resolving Professional Differences Record.

LSCB Escalation Policy Flowchart

Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting

 Between April 2016 and March 2017 there were 1,065 newly recorded women and girls presenting at

Health settings in London,where FGM was identified or a procedure of FGM was undertaken.

NHS Digital FGM Annual Report 2016-2017

What is FGM?

FGM is a form of violence against women and girls (VAWG). It comprises of all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It may be carried out at any time in a girls life, from baby to womanhood. It can be seen as a pathway to womanhood and can also be a condition of marriage. Some communities believe that if a girl has not had it done she is deemed unhealthy, unclean, or unworthy. Parents can have very strong beliefs, genuinely thinking they are doing the right thing for their daughter, and in communities where all females have the procedure it can seem normal, then making it very difficult for girls to challenge this tradition.  However, not every mother who has had FGM will put their daughter(s) through the same procedure. Each case should be assessed carefully and sensitively.

It is sometimes also known as female circumcision. Other local terms are:  Tahoor, Absum, Halalays, Khitan, Ibi, Sunna, Gudnii, Bondo, Kutairi. It is important to let the female refer to the term she understands it to be called. FGM is sometimes incorrectly believed to be an Islamic practice. This is not the case and the Islamic Shari’a Council, the Muslim College and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) have condemned the practice of FGM.  The majority of cases of FGM are thought to take place between the ages of 5 and 8 and therefore girls within that age bracket are at a higher risk.

Mandatory Reporting Duty - What are ‘known cases?

Known cases are those where either a girl informs the person that an act of FGM – however described – has been carried out on her, or where the person observes physical signs on a girl appearing to show that an act of FGM has been carried out and the person has no reason to believe that the act was, or was part of, a surgical operation within section 1(2)(a) or (b) of the FGM Act 2003. The duty applies to all regulated professionals working within health or social care, and teachers. There is mandatory requirement to report to police cases of ‘visually identified’ or ‘verbally disclosed’ cases of FGM in girls under 18. The mandatory reporting does not apply to suspected cases or where a child might be ‘at risk’ of FGM. The mandatory reporting is for ‘known’ cases only.

It is Illegal

In the UK, anyone found guilty of an FGM offence or of helping somebody commit one, faces up to 14 years in prison, a fine, or both, regardless of where in the world the FGM takes place. Anyone found guilty of failing to protect a girl from risk of FGM faces up to 7 years in prison, a fine, or both.  Lewisham has secured 1 FGM Protection Order.

Recognising Signs & Symptoms of Possible FGM Cases

A girl may;

  • Say an older female relative is coming especially to see her.
  • Say that she is being taken "home" for a special visit to become a woman (right of passage).
  • become withdrawn following this "holiday" and/or there may be a change in her behavior.
  • Run away from home, or start truanting from school.
  • Have difficulty standing or sitting.
  • Spend longer in the toilet than usual; because of bleeding and/or infection.
  • Have frequent vaginal, urinal, or pelvic infections.
  • Blood born infections, including Hepatitis B & C, and HIV.
  • She may be reluctant to undergo any medical examinations.
  • May ask for help, but not be explicit about the problem due to fear or embarrassment
  • Develop emotional and mental health problems.
  • Self harm, or be showing signs of child abuse.

Long Term Health Effects

Many girls and women are not aware of the lifetime effects FGM can have on them; with difficulty in child birth (sometimes ending in death), infertility, sexually difficulties, vaginal infections, painful periods, cysts and abscesses, and difficulty controlling her bladder. This is a procedure that cannot be reversed. FGM also involves a long term emotional impact including, anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder.

FGM is classified into four categories:

  • Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce
  • Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora
  • Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris
  • Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area

Language & Image Guide  - Please refer to the current language and image guidance to use when talking to survivors of FGM.

The following are terms used by different nationality's to describe FGM.  You will need to consider that a survivor may not recognise FGM or Cutting to describe what they have experienced.

  • Egypt: Thara / Khitan / Khifad
  • Ethopia: Megrez / Absum
  • Eritrea: Mekhnishab
  • Kenya:   Kutairi / Kutairi was ichana
  • Nigeria:   Ibi / Ugwu / Sumna
  • Sierra Leone:   Sunna / Bondo / Bondo Sonde
  • Somalia:   Gudiniin / Halalays / Qodiin
  • Sudan:   Khifad / Tahoor
  • CHAD:   Bagtne / Gadja
  • Guinea-Bissau:   Fanadu di Mindjer / Fanadu di Omi
  • Gambia:   Niaka / Kuyango / Musolula Karoola

Procedure in Lewisham 

The LSCB Partnership has endorsed a local FGM Guidance to assist you with your responsibilities.

At-Risk Cases of FGM

Situations whereby the female child is at risk of FGM being performed, suspected of being performed, or suspected of having been performed, normal safeguarding procedures and existing pathways would apply. You should consult with your appointed safeguarding lead and you should report it to MASH on 020 8314 6660 and email mashagency@lewisham.gov.uk.

An FGM Protection Order offer a legal means to protect and safeguard victims and potential victims of FGM.  Please see the Fact Sheet for more information.

Reporting Known Cases in Lewisham

In London the only reporting gateway for mandatory reports is via 101.   You should also inform MASH and your appointed safeguarding lead of your report. 

The duty applies to all regulated professionals working within health or social care, and teachers. There is mandatory requirement to report to police cases of ‘visually identified’ or ‘verbally disclosed’ cases of FGM in girls under 18. The mandatory reporting does not apply to suspected cases, or where another person (including the mother) discloses that FGM has taken place, or where a child might be ‘at risk’ of FGM. The mandatory reporting is for ‘known’ cases only, and this can be any girl of any nationality.

Home Office Mandatory Reporting Procedural Guidance

Multi-Agency Statutory Guidance FGM

Support is Available for Girls and Women at Risk

You can obtain a Statement Opposing Female Genital Mutilation for girls and women. It is in a variety of languages on the GOV.UK website.  Girls and Women can also contact;

  1. Athena VAWG Service on 0800 112 4052, email lewishamvawg@refuge.org.uk, website www.refuge.org.uk/Athena
  2. African Advocacy Foundation on 020 8698 447, website http://www.africadvocacy.org/
  3. NSPCC FGM Helpline on 0800 028 3550, email fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk
  4. FGM Every Bodys Biz website provides advice, support and a forum to hear the voice of the girl/woman. You can also obtain up-to-date information on FGM Health Specialists and organisations working on FGM, http://fgm-every-bodys-biz.co.uk/ 
  5. If a girl or woman has been taken abroad phone the Foreign & Commonwealth Office immediately on 020 7008 1500. 

Specialist FGM Clinics for Survivors of FGM

African Well Women’s Clinic

Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital, 8th Floor, c/o Antenatal Clinic, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EH

Tel:   020 7188 6872

Open Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm.

Contact:   Confort Momoh MBE, FGM / Public Health Specialist 07956 542 576

Action African Well Women Centre

Self Referral for free confidential services

Contact:   Julia Albert – Midwife or Hayat Arteh – Health Advocate

Tel: 020 8383 8761 or 07956 001 065

or 07730 970 738

Manor Gardens Clinic

The project works with volunteer FGM Community Champions, delivers training, provide workshops and 1:2:1 support through the Dahlia project (Specialist therapeutic service for women who have undergone FGM).


For further information on FGM we would encourage all professionals to view the excellent Home Office training package on FGM which can be found at:  www.fgmelearning.co.uk/

Useful Links & Guidance:

NHS England Posters & Guidance

National FGM Centre

FGM Map by Country & Origin and their Practice  

FGM Health Passport- Statement opposing FGM guidance in different languages.

Links to information about FGM Orders:- 

National FGM Centre

Courts of Justice - Family Procedure Rules

What to do if you are worried about the Safety of a child – professionals

Female Genital Mutilation - An Overview (leaflet)

Information Sharing & Consent

In every Serious Case Review that has ever been undertaken, information sharing has been a key theme. It is essential that all professionals gain consent and share information appropriately within the network of those working with a child and their family.  If you do not have consent and are unsure about whether to share information, discuss it with your line manager in the first instance.  We recommend you undertake the LSCB E-Learning courses and read the guidance and legislation detailed below.

LSCB Training Programme

The LSCB recommends all professionals undertake the E-Learning courses as follows:-

  • Information Sharing & Consent
  • Data Protection Act

Missing, Exploitation and Trafficking Information Sharing Guidance

Successful partnership working depends substantially on effective communications and information sharing between agencies.  MET Information Sharing Guidance document.

Working Together 2015 Extracts

  1. Effective sharing of information between professionals and local agencies is essential for effective identification, assessment and service provision.

  2. Early sharing of information is the key to providing effective early help where there are emerging problems. At the other end of the continuum, sharing information can be essential to put in place effective child protection services. Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) have shown how poor information sharing has contributed to the deaths or serious injuries of children.

  3. Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children. To ensure effective safeguarding arrangements:
  • all organisations should have arrangements in place which set out clearly the processes and the principles for sharing information between each other, with other professionals and with the LSCB; and
  • no professional should assume that someone else will pass on information which they think may be critical to keeping a child safe. If a professional has concerns about a child’s welfare and believes they are suffering or likely to suffer harm, then they should share the information with local authority children’s social care.
  1. Information Sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (2015) supports frontline practitioners, working in child or adult services, who have to make decisions about sharing personal information on a case by case basis.6 The advice includes the seven golden rules for sharing information effectively and can be used to supplement local guidance and encourage good practice in information sharing.

The seven golden rules to sharing information

1. Remember that the Data Protection Act 1998 and human rights law are not barriers to justified information sharing, but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about living individuals is shared appropriately.

2. Be open and honest with the individual (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.

3. Seek advice from other practitioners if you are in any doubt about sharing the information concerned, without disclosing the identity of the individual where possible.

4. Share with informed consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, there is good reason to do so, such as where safety may be at risk. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case. When you are sharing or requesting personal information from someone, be certain of the basis upon which you are doing so. Where you have consent, be mindful that an individual might not expect information to be shared.

5. Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the individual and others who may be affected by their actions.

6. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, adequate, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those individuals who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely (see principles).

7. Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.

Gillick / Fraser Competence - NSPCC

When we are trying to decide whether a child is mature enough to make decisions, people often talk about whether a child is 'Gillick competent' or whether they meet the 'Fraser guidelines'.

The Gillick competency and Fraser guidelines help us all to balance children’s rights and wishes with our responsibility to keep children safe from harm

Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act controls how personal information is used by organisations, businesses or the government.

Everyone responsible for using data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’. They must make sure the information is:

  • used fairly and lawfully
  • used for limited, specifically stated purposes
  • used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • accurate
  • kept for no longer than is absolutely necessary
  • handled according to people’s data protection rights
  • kept safe and secure
  • not transferred outside the European Economic Area without adequate protection

There is stronger legal protection for more sensitive information, such as:

  • ethnic background
  • political opinions
  • religious beliefs
  • health
  • sexual health
  • criminal records

Missing, Exploited (CSE) & Trafficking

Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board:

Child sexual exploitation is on of Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board’s (LSCB) key priorities. The LSCB therefore endeavours to prevent children and young people being sexually exploited by understanding the issues associated with the activity and raising community awareness so to equip our neighbourhoods, schools and workforce with the knowledge, skills and tools to tackle this and associated need.  We will continue to identify those children and young people who are at risk of sexual exploitation and will intervene robustly to minimise the potential for harm, disrupt the problematic behaviours and use criminal procedures as appropriate.  

LSCB MET Strategy:

The LSCB has overall responsibility for ensuring there is a coordinated, multi-agency response to children who are at risk of sexual exploitation. The full operating framework is set out in the LSCB Missing, Exploitation and Trafficking (MET) strategy which can be accessed via the link listed below.

CSE Toolkit:

There are 3 different levels of risk indicators for CSE as explained in the CSE toolkit:

  • Low level risk indicators
  • Medium level risk indicators
  • High level risk indicators

The MASH referral process can be found here: http://www.safeguardinglewisham.org.uk/lscb/lscb/professionals/early-help

The LSCB strongly promotes the use of the CSE risk assessment toolkit by all professionals to assist them in assessing the risks and early indicators of CSE. It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent children and young people being sexually exploited.

The Lewisham LSCB MET strategy needs to be read in conjunction with the following documents:

  • London Child Protection Procedures
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (DFE, 2015)
  • Safeguarding children and young people from sexual exploitation (DCSF 2009)
  • Tackling child sexual exploitation action plan (DFE, 2011) and Tackling child sexual exploitation action plan; progress report (DFE, 2012)
  • Pan London CSE Protocol (revised 2015)
  • Statutory Guidance on children who run away and go missing from home or care (DSCF, 2009)
  • Safeguarding children who may have been trafficked; practice guidance (DFE & HO, 2011)
  • Victims of Human Trafficking – guidance for frontline staff (UKBA & HO, 2013)

Missing, Exploited & Trafficked (MET) Strategy

Appendix A - National and Local Context

Appendix B - Harmful Sexual Behaviour

Appendix C - Child Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment & Toolkit

Appendix D - Emerging Best Practice: Learning from Serious Case Reviews and Studies of Current Practice

Appendix E - Children Who Run Away or Go Missing From Home or Care

Appendix F - Navigate Project Online Safety

Appendix G - Lewisham Child Sexual Exploitation and Missing Sub Group & MET Board Terms of Reference

DfE CSE Definition Guide February 2017

Modern Slavery & Child Trafficking

The Modern Day Slavery Act 2015 came into force in October 2015.

The Act

Part 1. Consolidates and clarifies the existing offences of slavery and human trafficking whilst increasing the maximum penalty for such offences. For offences of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour, or for offences of human trafficking any person found guilty is liable to life imprisonment.

Part 2. Provides for two new civil preventative orders, the Slavery & Trafficking Prevention Order, and the Slavery & Trafficking Risk Order. Request of a Chief Officer of Police, Immigration Officer, or NCA can prevent foreign travel, protect potential victims, and prevent further offences.

Part 3. Provides for new maritime enforcement powers in relation to ships.

Part 4. Establishes the office of Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and sets out the functions of the Commissioner. To encourage good practice in investigation / victim care.

Part 5. Introduces a number of measures focussed on supporting and protecting victims, including a statutory defence for slavery or trafficking victims and special measures for witnesses in criminal proceedings. Child trafficking advocates, non prosecution of victims compelled to commit crime, presumption of under 18 until appropriate age assessment. Public body has a duty to notify suspected victim of trafficking.

Part 6. Requires certain businesses to disclose what activity they are undertaking to eliminate slavery and trafficking from their supply chains and their own business.

Part 7. Requires the Secretary of State to publish a paper on the role of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and otherwise relates to general matters such as consequential provision and commencement.

The typology of 17 types of modern slavery offences in the UK

Labour Exploitation

Victims exploited for multiple purposes in isolated environments

Victims who are often highly vulnerable are exploited for labour in multiple ways in isolated rural locations. Victims live on offenders' property in squalid conditions, are subject to repeated abuse and are very rarely paid.

Victims work for offenders

Victims are forced to work directly for offenders in businesses or sites that they own or control (some offenders may be gangmasters). The main method of exploitation is not paying or illegally underpaying victims.

Victims work for someone other than offenders

Victims are employed in a legitimate and often low-skilled job, with legal working conditions, by an employer unrelated to the offenders. Most or all wages are taken by offenders often through control of the victims' bank accounts.

Domestic Servitude

Exploited by partner

Victims are forced to undertake household chores for their partner and often their partner's relatives. If married, the marriage may have been arranged or forced and the servitude often occurs alongside domestic abuse and sexual exploitation.

Exploited by relatives

Victims live with and exploited for household chores and childcare by family members, usually extended family. Many victims are children.

Exploiters not related to victims

Victims live with offenders who are often strangers. Victims are forced to undertake household chores and are mostly confined to the house.

Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation – group exploitation

Children are sexually exploited by groups of offenders. This is usually for personal gratification, but sometimes the exploitation involves forced sex work in fixed or changing locations and will include characteristics of types 9 and 10. Offenders frequently transport victims to different locations to abuse them.

Child sexual exploitation – single exploiter

Similar to type 7, often involves the grooming of children and transporting them for the purposes of sexual exploitation, although the offending is carried out by one individual.

Forced sex work in fixed location

Victims are trafficked and exploited in established locations set up specifically for sex work. This can include brothels or rooms in legitimate business premises (e.g. massage parlour).

Forced sex work in changing location

Victims are forced into sex work where the location of exploitation frequently changes. Locations include streets, clients' residence, hotels or 'pop-up' brothels in short-term rented property. Victims are frequently advertised online.

Trafficking for personal gratification

Victims are trafficked to residential sites controlled by offenders and sexually exploited for the offenders' own gratification. Some victims may be confined to the site for a long period of time.

Criminal Exploitation

Forced gang-related criminality

Victims are forced to undertake gang related criminal activities, most commonly relating to drug networks. Victims are often children who are forced by gangs to transport drugs and money to and from urban areas to suburban areas and market and coastal towns.

Forced labour in illegal activities

Victims are forced to provide labour to offenders for illegal purposes. The most common example is victims forced to cultivate cannabis in private residences.

Forced acquisitive crime

Victims are forced by offenders to carry out acquisitive crimes such as shoplifting and pickpocketing. Offenders may provide food and accommodation to victims but rarely pay them.

Forced begging

Victims are transported by offenders to locations to beg on the streets for money, which is then taken by offenders. Victims are often children vulnerable adults.

Trafficking for forced sham marriage

Traffickers transport EU national victims to the UK and sell these victims to an exploiter in a one-off transaction. Exploiters marry victims to gain immigration advantages and often sexually abuse them.

Financial fraud (including benefit fraud)

Victims are exploited financially; most commonly their identity documents are taken and used to claim benefits. This type often occurs alongside other types.

Possible Risk Indicators

A child cannot give consent to being exploited, even if they have agreed to being moved/believe they have consented, it is not "informed consent". Any child transported for exploitative reasons is considered to be a trafficking victim. All practitioners should use professional curiosity to support your ability to identify the risk factors.

  • Physical symptoms, i.e. pregnant, STI's, sexual or physical assault, poor dental health. May show signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished or unkempt, or appear withdrawn.
  • Victims may rarely be able to travel on their own, seem under the control or influence of others, rarely interact, or appear unfamiliar with their neighborhood or where they work.
  • Involved in criminal activity, i.e. cannabis factory, begging, pick pocketing.
  • Foreign national child. Brought or moved from another country. Has false documentation, or no passport or ID.
  • With an adult, but unclear what the relationship is.
  • Concerns about the relationship between the parent and child.
  • With an adult who speaks for the child.
  • Orphaned or separated from family or main carers.
  • Possesses money or goods not accounted for.
  • Has not been registered with a GP.
  • May or may not be enrolled at a school.
  • Homeless child.
  • An unrelated or new child discovered at an address.
  • Found in a brothel or sauna.
  • May be working in catering, nail bars, caring for children, cleaning etc.
  • Links to adult(s) with offending history.
  • Missing child. There is a strong possibility the child will be re-trafficked within 24-48 hours of being placed in care.

Procedure in Lewisham

Child Trafficking and Slavery are Child Protection issues and the normal procedures apply. You can make a referral to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub by telephone 020 8314 6660 or by email mashagency@lewisham.gov.uk or complete a MASH Referral Form

Useful Contacts

  • Athena Service lewishamvawg@refuge.org.uk 0800 112 4052
  • NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC): 0808 800 5000 ctac@nspcc.org.uk
  • UK Human Trafficking Centre: 0844 778 2406, UKHTC@nca.x.gsi.gov.uk
  • Refugee Council Advice Line: 020 7346 1134
  • ECPAT UK: 020 7233 9887 ecpat.org.uk
  • Coram Legal Centre: www.childrenslegalcentre.com
  • Children and Families Across Boarders (CFAB) 020 7735 8941 cfab.uk.net
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office: 020 7008 1500
  • CEOP 020 7238 2320/2307 ceop.gov.uk
  • Home Office http://www.crimereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/toolkits/tp01.htm

Additional Guidance

Resources & Publications

A typology of modern slavery offences in the UK  October 2017

Home Secretary Amber Rudd announces new measures to improve identification and support for victims of modern slavery.   October 2017

Home Office Resources

ACPO Guidance


Trafficking Toolkit

Human Trafficking Strategy

London Safeguarding Children Board - Trafficked Children toolkit and guidance

Safeguarding Children who may have been trafficked (2011) DfE

Home Office UK Border Code of Practice for Keeping Children Safe from Harm



There are many factors that influence and shape the development of a child. Some are within the child, such as genetic factors, and others are from external sources such as physical, psychological and family influences, as well as the wider neighbourhood and cultural aspects. 

Neglect is therefore often complex and not always immediately recognised. The impact will vary according to type, severity and length of time, making it difficult for those working with children and families to manage.  Professional uncertainty, differences of opinion or undue optimism regarding levels of need and the criteria for significant harm can lead to long term exposure which substantially increase the risk to children. 

Neglect of children remains one of the Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board’s (LSCB) key priorities. This strategy has been developed with multi-agency partners to set out Lewisham’s approach to child neglect. 

This strategy should be viewed alongside the following key strategies, policies and procedures and government guidance in relation to neglect:


Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) describes neglect as:

The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • Provide adequate food, clothing or shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
  • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers)
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

In addition the London Child Protection Procedures say:

1.38 Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance misuse, maternal mental ill health or learning difficulties or a cluster of such issues. Where there is domestic abuse and violence towards a carer, the needs of the child may be neglected.  www.londoncp.co.uk/chapters/responding_concerns.html

Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs. Some of the signs of neglect include:

  • Poor physical appearance – a child who is dirty, hungry, has a lack of appropriate clothing, bad hygiene, not having access to medical care and treatment
  • Absence of supervision/boundaries – a child who is put in danger or not protected from physical or emotional harm, use of inadequate care givers, chaotic family environment with no boundaries or routines
  • A child not getting the love, care and attention they need from their parents or carers

A child who’s neglected will often suffer from other forms of abuse as well. Neglect can cause serious, long-term damage to the child’s emotional, social and physical development having a profound impact on their future outcomes and in some cases can result in death.

It happens when parents or carers can’t or won’t meet a child’s needs. Sometimes this is because they don’t have the skills or support needed, and sometimes it’s due to other problems such as mental health issues, drug and alcohol problems or poverty.

Why is this important in Lewisham?

Neglect is the most common reason for a child to be the subject of a child protection plan in the UK. In Lewisham, approximately 70% of children subject to a plan are suffering from neglect.

What do professionals need to do?

Although you may be worried about a child, it’s not always easy for professionals to identify neglect. There’s often no single sign or incident that a child or family need help. It is more likely that there will be a series of concerns over a period of time that, taken together, demonstrate the child is at risk. If you think a child may be experiencing neglect, don’t wait:

  • Gather all relevant information about the child, including the parenting capacity and family and environmental factors in order to form a professional judgment on strengths, risks and harmful factors
  • Regularly review progress using the Toolkit below and update the multi-agency plan accordingly

Of course professional judgement has to be exercised in determining the harm or potential harm caused to a child by neglect but you should always consult with your agency safeguarding lead and refer to the Lewisham Continuum of Need document which will help you determine what sort of professional intervention will best meet the needs of the child and family.

Lewisham Neglect Strategy & Toolkit (January 2018)

Lewisham Neglect Toolkit (January 2018) (WORD DOCUMENT) & Graded Care Profile

LSCB Safeguarding Briefing - May 2018 - Neglect

On-line Safety

The internet is a great way for children and young people to connect with others and learn new things. As interactions between people are increasingly taking place on-line it is essential that we safeguard children as robustly in the virtual world as we do in the real one. We can do this through:

  • Promoting safe on-line behaviour to children, young people and their families
  • Taking children, young people and their families’ on-line actions and networks into account when providing support

Children, young people and their families go online for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To search for information or content on search engines
  • Share images and watch videos through websites or mobile apps
  • Use social networking websites
  • Write or reply to messages on forums and message boards
  • Play games along or with others through websites, apps or games consoles
  • Chat with other people through on-line, games, messenger apps, games consoles, webcams, social network, and other instant communication tools
  • Find new friends and partners

There are lots of benefits in going on-line, and also some risks. These include:

  • Exposure to and sharing of explicit material (including sexting)
  • Grooming
  • Radicalisation
  • Exploitation
  • Identity theft
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Cyber-hacking

It’s important that as professionals you are confident in talking with children, young people and their families about their on-line choices and interactions. This includes tablets, lap-tops, phones etc, for example:

  • Personal information shared on-line: checking privacy settings, sharing contact details, geotagging
  • Images shared and online communication: on-line support networks, inappropriate images (e.g. sexting), online bullying or harassment
  • On-line relationships: safe online friendships, meeting up with on-line friends or potential partners

LSCB E-Safety Guidance - June 2017

Advice and resources

CEOP Thinkuknow  provides advice for parents and carers, children and young people, and those that work with them.

NSPCC Online Safety has further advice and tools.

Child Exploitation & Online Protection (CEOP)

CEOP is there to support young people, parents and carers while surfing online, and offers help and advice on topics such as:

  • cyberbullying
  • hacking
  • harmful content

It also enables people to immediately report anything on-line which they find concerning, such as harmful or inappropriate content, or possible grooming behaviour.

For more information, or to report concerns, simply click on the CEOP Icon


Prevent Strategy

What is it?

Prevent forms one part of the Governments Counter Terrorism Strategy – CONTEST. This aims to

  • Protect: Strengthen our protection against terrorist attack.
  • Prepare: Mitigate the impact of an attack.
  • Pursue: Stop terrorist attack.
  • Prevent: Stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism by:-
  • responding to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it,
    • preventing people from being drawn into terrorism and ensuring that they are given appropriate advice and support,
    • working with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address

What does this mean for Statutory Organisations in Lewisham?

Since 2015, statutory agencies have a duty under the Counter Terrorism & Security Act “to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. These agencies should:

  • Establish strategic and operational links with other specified authorities.
  • Facilitate the assessment of risk for specified authorities, including providing advice and sharing threat assessments based on the Counter Terrorism Local Profiles (CTLP).
  • Provide a range of training products (including but not limited to Workshops to Raise Awareness of Prevent - WRAP) to all specified authorities.
  • Understand the full range of bodies affected by the new duties, and ensure they understand their responsibilities.
  • Embed Prevent into commissioning, procurement and grant funding processes.
  • Embed Prevent into Safeguarding Policies and ensure all providers are signed up to local Safeguarding arrangements.

There an obvious difference between espousing radical and extreme views and acting on them, and practitioners should ensure that assessments place behaviour in the family and social context of the young person and include information about the young person’s peer group and conduct and behaviour at school. Holding radical or extreme views is not illegal, but inciting a person to commit an act in the name of any belief is in itself an offence.

Compliance in Lewisham

In Lewisham, work has been taking place to ensure that all relevant agencies are complying with their obligations under the 2015 Counter Terrorism & Security Act. This includes delivering briefings, training, and the development of a Risk Assessment Tool for Children’s Social Care.

Prevent in Lewisham operates a Strategic Board – the Prevent Delivery Group – and a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Panel – Channel.

Public Advice

  • If you see or hear anything that could be terrorist-related, trust your instincts and call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
  • If you are aware of any concerns from the community contact megan.mellor@lewisham.gov.uk (Community Co-ordinator)
  • If you think you have seen a person acting suspiciously, or if you see a vehicle, unattended package or bag which might be an immediate threat, move away and call 999.
  • If you are involved in an incident follow police advice to: ‘RUN, HIDE AND TELL’   
  • Download the citizenAID App which provides safety and medical advice from Google Play, Apple App or the Windows store, for free.  

Lewisham Prevent Service

LBL Prevent are available to assist agencies in complying with their Counter Terrorism Act duties. The support offer includes: 

  • The provision of Workshops to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP training for frontline staff),
  • Management briefings regarding Prevent Duty compliance,
  • Coordination of strategic and operational groups,
  • The provision of Prevent-related resources and dissemination of relevant information.

If you have any questions regarding Prevent in Lewisham you can contact the Prevent Manager by email prevent@lewisham.gov.uk.

Make a Referral

Judges have issued Care or Wardship Proceedings where there are allegations of children being taken abroad to strongholds of so called ISIS. If you are worried about a child or a young person you should follow child protection procedures without delay.

If a child is in immediate risk call 999, otherwise contact the MASH Team by telephone and follow up your referral in writing within 24 hours.

MASH Team Telephone: 020 8314 6660 Email mashagency@lewisham.gov.uk

Lewisham Prevent Team prevent@lewisham.gov.uk


Lunchtime Briefing or in-depth Half Day Course


LSCB Me-Learning Introduction to Prevent

Home Office Introduction to Prevent

Channel General Awareness

 If your department would like bespoke training please contact prevent@lewisham.gov.uk

Guidance Resources


Self-Harm & Suicide Ideation in Young People


Mental health problems affect around 1 in 10 children and young people. This includes depression, anxiety, and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.

Self-harm is when someone hurts themselves on purpose and is a way of expressing deep distress, a way of communicating what cannot be put into words, with very difficult feelings that could build up inside. It is not attention seeking behaviour.

Self-Harm is a very common behaviour in young people and affects around one in 12 young people.  

Warning signs of Self-Harm

  • People who self-harm may suffer mood swings and become withdrawn.
  • Unexplained wounds.
  • Have a lack of motivation.
  • There may be changes in their eating habits.
  • They may cover up their body (even in warm weather).

Warning signs of Suicide Ideation

They may be:

  •  Quiet, brooding, or withdrawn.
  • Feeling exhausted and distant.
  • Feeling cut off from those around them.
  • Not making eye contact.
  • Agitated, irritable or rude.
  • Talking about suicide or saying it’s all hopeless.
  • Desperate for help but afraid to ask.

They may also:

  • Be busy, chirpy, laughing and joking, talking about future plans, and telling you not to worry about them.

The safest way to know if someone is thinking about suicide is to ask them. If a person is suicidal the idea is already there. If they aren’t suicidal it won’t do any harm. Saying something is safer than saying nothing.

Risk Factors of Self-Harm & Suicide Ideation

  • Stressful life events.
  • Isolation.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • On-going family relationship problems.
  • Being bullied at school.
  • Bereavement.
  • Mental health problems – depression and delusional thoughts.
  • Substance and alcohol misuse.
  • Family circumstances.
  • Stress and worry – academic pressure.
  • Experience of abuse – physical, emotional, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and forced marriage.
  • Feelings of being rejected in their lives.

Types of Self-Harm

  • Cutting of the skin with objects (e.g. razor blades, scissors, pens, bottle tops etc.)
  • Scratching the skin.
  • Picking wounds or interfering with healing.
  • Burning.
  • Ingesting toxic substances.
  • Excessive drug or alcohol intake.
  • Hitting or punching themselves.
  • Head banging or biting themselves.
  • Pulling hair out.
  • Swallowing or inserting objects.
  • Taking an overdose.
  • Staying in an abusive relationship.
  • Taking risks too easily.
  • Restricting their eating.Young people can self-harm in a variety of body locations, i.e. arms, legs, abdomen, etc.

Responding to Self-Harm in Lewisham

If a child or young person overdoses or there is a serious self-harm incidence they should be taken to A&E in the first instance. An assessment will be undertaken which may involve a referral to the Children & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

If you become aware of a young person who is self-harming or having suicidal thoughts. Explore their feelings with them and talk about the help available:-

Share what you know with the child’s parents / carers.

Tips for talking with young people

Tips for Talking with Young People - Print The Poster!


Young Minds

  • Parents Helpline 0808 802 55 44
  • Advice for professionals


  • Ask the parent / carer to make an appointment.



  • Online chat support for young people

Work it Out Lewisham

  • Information on services and support available in Lewisham.

Papyrus Hopeline 0800 068 41 41

  • Confidential advice for young people
  • Advice for parents / carers.
  • Advice for professionals

ChildLine – 0800 11 11

  • Confidential advice for young people
  • Advice for professionals


  • Individual one to one, drop in counselling for children and young people experiencing emotional wellbeing issues at 10 schools in Lewisham

Lewisham Mind Kit

  • Online resources for range of mental health/ wellbeing issues and peer mentoring support

National Self-Harm Network

  • UK charity offering moderated support forum for self-harm

NHS Choices - Moodzone

  • Online and audio resources to improve mental wellbeing and information about available treatments


  • Online training for anyone working with 0-18 year olds


Coping with Self-Harm, A Guide for Parents & Carers

Calm Harm App.

Down load this from your AppStore or GooglePlay. The app offers activities to comfort, distract, express yourself, Release, Random and Breathe.

Free LSCB Training Offer - Self Harm & Suicide Ideation

Health Improvement Training Offer - Youth Mental Health First Aid

Toolkits & Resources

The attached are listed here for ease of access, however, we recommend you refer to the full strategy, policy, process, or guidance if you are not experienced in undertaking an assessment or completing a toolkit. 


Lewisham Neglect Toolkit (January 2018) & Graded Care Profile

SafeLives Dash Risk Check List & Quick Start Guidance

Child Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Toolkit & Guidance

Contextual Safeguarding - Safety Mapping Exercise


LSCB Anti-Bullying Resource January 2018

CAMHS Referral Criteria & Referral Form

Continuum of Need Levels and Guidance

Early Help Assessment Form

E-Safety Guidance

Plan, Review & Closure Form

Protocol for the management of actual or suspected bruising in infants who are not independently mobile

Resolving Professional Differences Protocol

Services for Children & Families Leaflet - December 2017

Young Carers Leaflet and Young Carers Referral Form and Guidelines

See the London procedures for child protection policies and procedures

National Guidance and Local Protocols

Useful Reports and Links

Case Recording & Report Writing - Useful Online Presentation

Professional Curiosity - 10 Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them, what research tells us, NSPCC

Child Neglect - Be Professionally Curios, Action for Children


Worried about a child suffering from harm?

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 Lewisham Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) who can discuss this with you:

  • During office hours (Monday – Friday):
    Lewisham’s MASH 020 8314 6660 
  • Out of Office hours:
    Emergency Duty Team – 020 8314 6000

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

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.

Protocol for the management of actual or suspected bruising in infants who are not independently mobile

Please see the London Child Protection Procedures

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 concerns, simply click on the CEOP Icon


Young Carers


These guidelines are intended for any parent, professional or agency wishing to make a referral to Lewisham Young Carers Service on behalf of a child or young person within a caring role. Please read these guidelines carefully before completing the attached referral forms.

Who can you make a referral for?

Any Young Carer between the ages of 5 and 18 can be referred to our services that are residents or their cared for is someone who lives within the borough of Lewisham:

  • Providing care or support for someone with a physical disability, long term illness, mental ill health or substance misuse.
  • Is affected by the condition of their cared for.

Service availability

We will prioritise the service to young carers with the highest need as a result of the significant impact of the caring role and level of caring responsibilities.

The level of priority for each Young Carers may fluctuant throughout the lifetime of their involvement in the service due to sudden changes in their caring situation.  

How to make a referral?

Please complete all the pages of our Referral Form and send to:

Carers Lewisham logo

Waldram Place, Forest Hill

London, SE23 2LB

Tel: 0208 699 8686 | Fax: 0208 699 0634

Email: info@carerslewisham.org.uk

What happens now?

On receipt of the referral we will look at the information you have given us and prioritise the need for assessment. The outcome will be either: 

  1. Young carer does not meet the criteria for a young carer and no assessment will take place.
  2. Young carer is allocated to a member of the young carers team for a home visit.
  3. Further information is needed from the referrer before processing any further.

Referrers will be informed of the outcome via telephone or email within 4 weeks. If you have not heard from us please contact us on 0208 699 8686.

Assessment Process

If allocated for assessment, a young carers support officer will make contact with the family to arrange a home visit to gain better understanding about the young carer’s family’s situation and decide on what support services they will be offered.   

If you have any questions throughout the referral or assessment process, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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