Last updated: 2 January 2024

Next review: 16 November 2024

If you feel that you need help caring for your child, or if you are concerned about the welfare or safety of a child you will need to contact Children’s Social Care. The way that you do this is the same for disabled and non-disabled children. All referrals to Children’s Social Care are first dealt with by the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

If you don’t believe the risk requires immediate action, contact the MASH team to discuss your concerns with a social worker.

Call 020 8496 2310 or email

The MASH social worker will aim to get as much information as possible about the child and the family. If you are a professional, please complete the MASH referral form.

The telephone line is open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday only, excluding bank holidays.

Outside of office hours, if your concerns are urgent, you can call our Emergency Duty Team on 020 8496 3000.

If you feel that a child or young person is at immediate risk of harm, please call the police on 999 who can provide an immediate response.

Alternatively, you can contact your local police on 101 at any time.

Waltham Forest Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub consists of professionals from:

  • Children’s Services
  • Health
  • Education
  • Police
  • Probation
  • Housing
  • Early Help Service
  • Youth Offending
  • London Victim Support

This means that joint decisions can be easily made about how best to meet a child’s needs (see below for the guide to thresholds)

Before deciding whether an assessment is needed, Children’s Social Care will consider whether the best way to help will be through universal services e.g. schools, nursery’s, GP's etc.

This could also be through an Early Help Assessment where the Early Help Service will ensure that everyone involved with a child, such as teachers and health visitors, works together to provide support.

Children’s Social Care use a four-staged model of intervention as a way of finding the best way to help families.

You can find detailed information regarding thresholds for children’s social care by clicking on the below link.

Guide to Thresholds and Practice (PDF) 

Read the London Safeguarding Children Procedures