If it's an emergency, you can call:
- Customer First on 0808 800 4005 if you're worried that a child or young person is at risk of harm, abuse, or neglect
- the police on 999
How to make a safeguarding referral
Guidance for professionals
If you would like to discuss whether or not a referral is required, please call the Professional Consultation Line on 03456 061 499 to speak with a MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) social worker.
Information for professionals and members of the public
From Monday 12 November 2018, if you have a concern or are worried about a child or a young person, you will need to complete and submit a multi-agency referral form (MARF) using the new secure Suffolk Children and Young People’s Portal.
The first time you complete a referral you will be prompted to create a new portal account. Registering for an account is quick and easy, and you only need to do it once. To ensure the information you submit is secure, you will be required to log into your account every time you access the portal. Further support including a portal user guide and walk through videos are available on the portal overview page.
The referral process and link to the Children and Young People's Portal is accessed through the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership children's website.
Contact social care services quickly and easily by webchat
Did you know that questions about social care may be answered more quickly if you use webchat, available in the right hand corner of the screen? Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm excluding bank holidays.
What should I do if I'm worried about a child?
What will happen if I contact children’s social care?
Will the child’s parents be told who contacted social care?
After I contact children's social care what happens next?
Will the police or other agencies be involved if you make a report to social care?
What should I do if I am worried that I might harm my own child?
Support for professionals
If you work with children or adults, please see the referral information on the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership children’s website. You can find advice on how to complete a Multi-Agency Referral form, often referred to as a MARF or MAR form, using the new secure Children and Young People’s Portal. Please also see the website for further information on making referrals to the Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO).
Professionals and paid carers working with children can contact the MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) Professional Consultation Line and talk to a multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) social worker to discuss whether or not a referral is required. Telephone 03456 061499, available Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm, and on Fridays from 9am to 4:25pm. MASH are now also available via webchat which is available via the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership children's website.
If you are concerned about an adult and would like to make a referral or speak to MASH, please see the information on the Safeguarding Partnership adult's website.
Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 set in legislation that the three safeguarding partners (Local Authority, Chief Officer of Police, and Clinical Commissioning Groups) must work together with relevant agencies to safeguard and protect the welfare of all children up to the age of 18 in Suffolk.
All three partners have equal and joint responsibility for local safeguarding arrangements and the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership (SSP) is led by an Independent Chair Person, Anthony Douglas CBE.
This has now replaced the pre-existing legislation for Local Authorities to have Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs).
Adults at risk
Although there are no changes to the statutory requirement for Local Authorities to have a Safeguarding Adult Board and all the current guidance about the accountabilities of the SAB in the Care Act guidance remain, the Suffolk Safeguarding Adults Board will also come under the umbrella of Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership to maximise opportunities for joint working across Children and Adult Services and to ‘Think Family’.
Further information about Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership can be found on either the children's website or adult's website. A new website for both adults and children is in the process of being developed and will be available soon.