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Professionals Report a Concern

If you are a professional (paid or voluntary) working with children in Buckinghamshire

If there is immediate risk of harm to a child, call the Police on 999

For any concerns about a child – including foster placements, notification of offenders in area, etc. please contact the First Response team within Children’s Social Care via 01296 383962 or e-mail


There is a Referral Flowchart which can be printed and displayed in your organisation


**Please be aware that the threshold document is currently being reviewed. Please check our website or newsletter for updates**

  • Use the Thresholds document, discuss with your safeguarding lead and use your professional judgement to identify the level of need of the child
  • If you are a school and need some advice, you can consult the Education Safeguarding Advisory Service (ESAS) on 01296 382912
  • If you think the need has reached level 3 or 4 and you need advice or guidance, you can consult by calling First Response on 01296 383962


  • For level 1 (Universal Services) & level 2 (Additional Support) gain consent from the family to work with them to support their needs and prevent escalation of problems
  • For level 3 (Complex needs/Specialist/Children in Need) talk to the family and gain written consent to ensure they agree to the referral, information sharing, assessment and intervention.
  • For level 4 (Acute / Child protection) if there are safeguarding issues which place the child at risk of significant harm or could lead to loss of evidential material, you do not require consent. If you are unsure about whether consent is required you can call First Response who will advise you.


  • Level 1 (Universal Services) & level 2 (Additional Support): Can you support the child and their family through your own service? Or can you signpost to another service? See the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service website for a directory of services (click on the Early Help tab) or call 01296 383065
  • Level 3 (Complex needs/Specialist/Children in Need: Contact First Response: complete the online Multi Agency Referral Form (MARF) or call 01296 383962 (0800 999 7677 out of hours)
  • Level 4 (Acute / Child protection): Collect all the information you have and contact First Response immediately on 01296 383962 (0800 999 7677 out of hours), followed up with a MARF. Call Police on 999 if there is immediate risk.

Tips for completing a MARF 

The online MARF is self explanatory, you must complete all sections in order to continue to the next section.

Information reporting form

Thames Valley Police have created a form for professionals to complete when they come across a concern that doesn’t meet the criteria for a full referral but is worrying them – such as spotting a suspicious car outside a youth venue or care home. For guidance and an example of a completed form please click on the links NEW Partnership Sharing Example Form 1 or NEW Partnership Sharing Example Form 2. To complete the form please click here.Partnership Agency Submission Document 2019 Details of where to send the information are on the form.

Concerns about staff working with children

If you have a concern about a member of staff working with children (in either a paid or voluntary capacity) please contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on 01296 382070 or


Child Exploitation

If you are concerned a child or young person is being criminally or sexually exploited you must report it.

There is a Child Exploitation Indicator Tool that can be used alongside the established referral process and should be attached to the MARF when referring to First Response. Please click on this link to view the indicator tool and pathway: –


Report a Concern promotional materials

Report a concern poster

It is important that members of the public can easily find out how to report a concern about a child. This poster provides information on how members of the public can report a concern. We would encourage you to print and display this poster, in particular in any public facing area such as a waiting room, reception areas, community notice boards etc.
[This poster is set to print out in A4 – if you wish to print it in A3 you need to go to the ‘properties’ section for your printer and amend the paper size accordingly]

Report a Concern leaflet

This leaflet can be handed out to members of the public who you may be engaging with.