Safeguarding Children - Devon

Abuse and neglect can happen to any child at any age from pre-birth up to the age of 18 years.

Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, and emotional abuse.

The Devon Children and Families Partnership DCFP have a threshold document to enable decisions around the need for a referral.

The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the referral point for Devon. The MASH referral form can be found on the DCFP website.

NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group Safeguarding Children's Policy

Contact Information and Referrals

Devon Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub

Making a MASH contact (for professionals)

Tel: 0345 155 1071

Out of Hours Duty Team Tel: 0845 6000 388


Devon and Cornwall SARC

Devon Children and Families Partnership - Early Help

Early Help Information for Professionals


Northern Devon:

Mid and East Devon:


Management Tools

The RCGP/NSPCC Safeguarding Children Toolkit for General Practice

Safeguarding Children and Young People - Rules and Competencies for Healthcare staff

Working together to safeguard children

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

CSE is when an individual takes sexual advantage of a child or young person under the age of 18 years for that individual's own benefit. Power is developed over the victim through threats, bribes, violence and humiliation or being told that they are loved. CSE affects both girls and boys. Exploited young people may go onto exploit peers.

If you are concerned that a child or young person is at risk of CSE contact MASH (see above contacts) and ask to discuss with the REACH team (Reducing Exploitation and Absence from Care and Home). Your call will be taken by a customer services advisor who will forward your details and enquiry to the REACH team so that they can respond.

NHS England pocket guide with advice for healthcare staff regarding what Child Sexual Exploitation

Spotting the signs of child sexual exploitation

Fabricated or Induced Illness by Carers FII

Fabricated or Induced Illness by Carers (FII) can cause significant harm to children. FII involves a well child being presented by a carer as ill or disabled, or an ill or disabled child being presented with a more significant problem than he or she has in reality, and suffering harm as a consequence. There are particular challenges for paediatricians and other professionals in terms of managing an FII case.

Female Genital Mutilation FGM

FGM is illegal in Britain. A health professional who is aware that a girl under the age of 18 years has either undergone FGM or is at risk of undergoing FGM must under the Serious Crimes Act 2015 report this to the Police. A referral will also need to be sent to MASH.

For further advice on legislation the NSPCC Female genital mutilation (FGM) legislation, policy and guidance is useful.


PREVENT is part of the UK's counter terrorism strategy, aimed at reducing the risk of people (including patients and/or staff) becoming involved and know who to discuss our concerns with. The strategy has four key elements:

  • Pursue – to stop terrorist attacks
  • Prevent – to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism
  • Protect – to strengthen our protection against terrorist attack
  • Prepare – where a terrorist attack cannot be stopped, to lessen the impact

Refer – If safeguarding concern – to MASH

Inform Devon and Cornwall Police on 999 if emergency or on 101


Prevent duty guidance

Supporting Information

If following a referral to Children's Social Care, the referring professional is not happy with the outcome; the Local Devon Children and Families Partnership DCFP Escalation Policy must be used to highlight the concerns to a higher level of management. If the referring professionals feel that following the outcome decision of the referral is not enabling the child to remain safe it is the responsibility of that professional to escalate this further directly with the Local Authority Safeguarding Manager

Link for GP safeguarding toolkit

The Intercollegiate document for safeguarding children informs health professionals on levels of training required for all practice staff

Training for GPs for safeguarding can be found on the Devon Children and Families Partnership's website

Management and storage of child protection records in general practice

This guideline has been signed off by the Northern Locality on behalf of NEW Devon CCG.

Publication date: July 2016

Updated: July 2021

Last updated: 05-07-2021


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