Child abuse

What is child abuse?

Child abuse can happen to a child at any age and from any background and is unacceptable whatever the child's cultural or ethnic origin. Child abuse causes long-term, sometimes permanent damage and children who are being abused may show their distress in many ways, such as appearing angry or withdrawn.

What to do if you have a concern about child abuse

If you have any concerns that a child or an unborn baby might be being harmed you must contact us. All calls are taken seriously and will be treated in confidence.

Barnet Council's Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) deal with concerns about child abuse and can be contacted by calling 020 8359 4066.

Further information about what to do if you are worried about a child being abused is given in the Government's leaflet which can be downloaded from this page.

What is MASH?

The MASH is the single point of entry for all referrals regarding concerns for a child or young person (unborn to 18 years) or where it is felt they would benefit from additional support.

MASH ensures that:

  • All safeguarding referrals are dealt with in a timely and effective manner to ensure the immediate protection of children
  • Decisions are timely, sound and based on high quality multi-agency information sharing arrangements
  • All agencies have the confidence to share information safely and securely
  • Risk is identified through robust analysis of a wide range of historical and current information and concerns.
  • Children, young people and their families are referred to the right services first time and as early in the life of the problem as possible
  • Professional agencies working with children and their families have access to information that is proportionate and relevant to their involvement in a child’s life
  • Allocation of resources for children and families is timely, coherent and transparent
  • Professionals have rapid access to qualified and experienced social work professionals for safeguarding advice, information and guidance on access to local resources
  • The service is well understood and accessible to those that need it
  • Our partnership arrangements are built upon to improve access and promote seamless delivery throughout the borough

We ask that professionals, who are making referrals to the MASH, where appropriate, discuss intended referrals about children with the adults who hold parental responsibility for them prior to making a referral. Professionals include in the referral whether they have spoken to the child and parents about the referral they are making.

Child abuse. If you think it, report it. Contact Barnet MASH


Telephone: 020 8359 4066

Fax: 0871 594 8766

Address: MASH

London Borough of Barnet
2 Bristol Avenue

Together, we can tackle child abuse

  • All children have a right to be safe and should be protected from all forms of abuse and neglect
  • Anything you notice can help a child at risk. We all have a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect
  • Last year nearly 400,000 children in England were supported because someone noticed they needed help
    • To help protect a child or young person look out for changes in their Appearance, Behaviour and Communication (A B C)
  • It’s up to all of us to keep children safe. Many people do not act because they’re worried about being wrong. You don’t have to be absolutely certain; if you’re concerned a child is being abused or their safety is at risk, speak to someone
  • Report it anonymously to your local council, NSPCC or the police who can provide the support a child may need
  • Information is gathered from many sources, and your report forms part of a bigger picture. Reporting your concerns to your local council, NSPCC, or the police, could provide the missing piece of information that is needed to keep a child safe

To find out more about the Department for Education's child abuse campaign visit:

For more information, you can also visit the Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership website.