Concerns for a child: Safeguarding

All children and young people have the right grow up safe and well cared for in an environment that promotes their welfare

Safeguarding means working to protect children from all types of harm including physical, emotional, sexual and neglect, to ensure that they are healthy, safe, and able to meet their potential.

This includes:

  • Protecting them from abuse and mistreatment from adults and other children
  • Preventing harm to their health or emotional development
  • Ensuring they grow up in safe homes and communities, experiencing care which meets their individual needs
  • Taking action to enable them to have the best outcomes

Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18.

All organisations that work with or come into contact with children and young people should have safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure that every child can be protected from harm, taking into account their specific needs including age, gender identity, religion, ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, culture, and sexuality.

If you are worried about the safety of a child or feel a family would benefit from additional support a referral can be made to City of London Children’s Social Care and Early Help. Complete the Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) which is available at the bottom of this page and send to

Please do seek consent from the family for a referral before sending, unless doing so would compromise the safety of any child(ren). See information and guidance about seeking consent, and the threshold criteria for referrals and support Worried about a Child in the City? | chscp

If you would like to discuss a potential referral please call Children’s Duty on 020 7332 3621 a worker is available from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

If you are concerned about the safety of a child outside of office hours please contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0208 3562710.

If you believe a child is at immediate risk of harm always call 999.

If you are a parent or carer and feel that you and your child(ren) would benefit from some additional support please do ask either a professional working with you to make contact with the City of London Children’s Social Care and Early Help Service, or feel free to call directly on 020 7332 3621 to discuss your needs. Also do look at our Early Help Service - City of London Family Information Service for more information on services that we can offer.

If you are concerned about a child or young person and want to find out about Early Help and other support, you can complete the Multi Agency Referral Form (MARF) below and contact the City of London Corporation Children and Families.

We all need to play our part in protecting children – identifying those who are missing from education and making sure they get back to school. The Education and Early Years Service works with pupils and parents to ensure that children of compulsory school age attend school regularly.

A child is considered missing from education if he or she is not on a state or private school roll or being home-schooled.

The current compulsory school age for children in England and Wales is five to 18 years.

If you see a child or young person who you think is missing education please contact us.

If you believe a child is at immediate risk of harm always call 999.

London Child Protection Procedures
For more information about the London Child Protection Procedures and Practice Guidance, please download the 'Missing Procedures and Practice Guidance' at the end of this page, which includes the City of London Corporation supplementary guidance 

The power of technology is of benefit to us all, but more time spent online by our children can lead to greater levels of risk. It is important that we all know how to help make children safe online.

For children, their world is opened up to more people, offline and online, bringing new challenges and risks. With a plethora of experiences and influences impacting children, there are health and wellbeing issues to consider.

Our Safer Schools have put together a guide to help professionals, parents and carers support children to navigate transitions in education and online safety. The Safer Schools App is free and includes useful advice about making your home and devices safer. It provides information about social media and how to block, mute and report anything that either you (or your child) may find worrying - from images to comments from online bullies. The App will also help you create healthy media habits, limit screen time, learn about scams and keep your personal data safe.

Read more Our Safer Schools website to read more, and download the app.

There is also a range of advice and resources about online safety available at:

Keeping children safe online | NSPCC

Staying safe online | Childline

Child Safety Online: A practical guide for parents and carers whose children are using social media - GOV.UK (

Internet Safety Guide for Kids | SafeWise

Please see information about proposals to strengthen the EYFS safeguarding requirements and make them more comprehensive for Early Years providers. This is to ensure that all children are kept as safe as possible in Early Years settings.

The DFE are inviting responses from a range of partners and this includes Early Education and childcare providers and Early Years and childcare practitioners

Early Years Foundation Stage Government Consultation - Department for Education - Citizen Space

Please also see the download at the end of this page for information.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust's (CAPT) has an annual campaign to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented.

This year's theme is Safety. Families should feel confident that, with one small change, they can stop a serious accident. And be clear what they need to do to keep their children safe.

Window Safety
It is important to consider the danger of open windows and balcony areas to young children. Children want to see what is going on outside and this means that windows are tempting to play near or climb onto. If objects are displayed on or near window openings this can also entice young children to the area or act as a means to climb up.

Following a recent case involving window safety and a number of accidents in East London in recent years, there is a real need to consider window safety during the school holidays when children spend more time at home. Parents and carers should also consider window / balcony safety for out of routine events e.g. going abroad or when visiting other homes.

Remember! Any window, even one on the ground floor, which can be accessed by a child is a risk!

Nappy Sacks
The Child Death Review Team (covering Waltham Forest, Newham, Tower Hamlets, City & Hackney) has alerted local professionals to early learning following a recent case involving nappy sacks.

Typically nappy sacks are stored within the baby’s reach, close to the baby’s cot, including under the mattress. This method of storage is often for convenience. In some cases, nappy sacks had been left near to or in the baby’s cot for ease of changing the baby’s nappy in the night. These loose nappy sacks are within easy reach of babies and are a risk for suffocation.

Nappy sacks are a relatively recent phenomenon and whilst parents and carers are generally aware of the dangers posed by plastic bags, they may not make the same link to nappy sacks and so are less likely to take the same safety precautions. The risk of this potential hazard is increased by the lack of a mandatory suffocation warning advice on the packaging.

Water Safety
Did you know a child can drown in as little as 5cm of water? This means it's especially important to supervise children around baths, garden containers, ponds, pools and open water. Parents and carers should also remain alert to threats when visiting other people’s homes e.g. hot tubs or access to a neighbour's garden.

Find out more about water safety on the CAPT website:

Dog Safety
As a nation of dog lovers, it is important for parents and carers to consider how to keep children safe when there are pets in the home. One way is to closely supervise children when they are playing with dogs:

  • Watch, listen, and remain close during child-dog interactions. Remember some common child behaviours like preventing a dog from moving freely or taking away their toys can precede a bite.
  • Intervene when either the child or dog looks uncomfortable or acts in an unsafe way.
  • If you will be preoccupied or distracted, separate the child and dog.

Find out more, including how to prepare a dog for a new baby in the family HERE.

Blind Cord Safety
Over the years a number of tragic accidents have occurred across the country where babies and small children have injured or strangled themselves on internal window blind cords and chains. Young children can very quickly be strangled by loops in pull cords, chains, tapes and inner cords that operate the blinds.

It is always better to remove blinds on internal windows or doors and where possible move children's cots / beds away from windows.

A number of other safety measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of tragic accidents occurring can be found here:

Fire Safety
Everyday fire risks are present at home. Families can protect their children by:

  • making sure their smoke alarm is fitted and regularly tested. A working smoke alarm will give you the vital minutes needed to leave your home before it is filled with deadly smoke.
  • storing heated hair appliances (like hair straighteners) safely away from the reach of children.
  • getting into a routine of storing flammables like matches and lighters in a designated secure place away from small children every time they are used.
  • planning and practicing escape routes with all members of the family. This includes teaching children what to do if a fire breaks out so they are less likely to hide (which could mean it takes longer to rescue them).
  • clearing away clutter from hallways so they are not a trip hazard when leaving a dark smoke filled home.

Find out more fire safety advice here:

Button Battery Safety
Button batteries, in particular big, powerful lithium coin cell batteries, can badly hurt or kill a small child if they swallow one and it gets stuck in their food pipe. They can be found in a wide range of places in the home including toys, decorative lights, remote controls, old musical greeting cards and car key fobs.

Top tips for keeping children safe include:

  • identifying anything in the home which does not have a secure battery compartment and keeping these away from children.
  • storing spare button batteries in a sealed container in a high cupboard.
  • taking care when buying toys from markets, discount stores or temporary shops as they may not conform to safety regulations.
  • teaching older children that button batteries are dangerous and not to play with them or give them to younger brothers and sisters.

More tips including a downloadable poster to share with parents can be found here: