Asking for help

Oxfordshire is a great place to grow up, be successful, and get the help you need help to get the best start in life.
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Oxfordshire County Council Children's Services provide help to families that are having difficulties.

There are lots of different kinds of help available, including support for family members, and groups and courses.  

There are also special services for people who need help with different kinds of difficulties, like:

Crucial: We believe that the best start in life requires children and young people to experience a safe and supportive home and school life.


If this isn't happening for you, then you can ask for help.


Speak to your School Health Nurse, your GP (Doctor) or anyone at your school or Children & Family Centre.

Our obsessions for children and families

We want all children in Oxfordshire to have the best start in life. To do this best, we are concentrating on four obsessions which we think will help children the most.

  1. Increasing school attendance – so you learn more and are somewhere safe
  2. Helping Early – most effective, least intrusive solutions to problems
  3. Safely reducing the number of looked after children – providing support to enable families to care
  4. Improving the confidence and capability of the whole workforce – to work effectively with families experiencing domestic abuse, parental mental health and drugs and alcohol issues

How are we doing?

We want all children to succeed, be safe and be the best they can. We are using these questions to help us see how well we are doing:

  • Does Ofsted think we are providing a good service?
  • Are we delivering value for money and financial sustainability?
  • Are we reducing family breakdown?
  • Are we improving attainment (how well you are doing) and aspirations (hopes for your future)?

Everyone needs to work together to provide the best help, including people from across the different Councils, local communities, charities and other organisations, people who work with children and families, and children and families themselves.

Children and families always share and co-design any help provided. This is the principle of "nothing about me, without me". 

How to ask for help

There are all sorts of ways to ask for help.

Many children start by talking to someone at their school or youth group.

Adults at your school, health services or leisure facilities have a duty to tell us if they think you need help because of something you have told them.

Crucial: You can also ask for help directly.

If you are a child

If you are a child or young person and you are being abused or neglected please contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on one of the following numbers:

  • Office hours (8.30am – 5pm, Mon-Thu 8.30am – 4pm, Fri): Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub: 0345 050 7666
  • Outside office hours: Emergency Duty Team: 0800 833 408

If you are a parent or carer

If you feel you or somebody else is harming your child or close to doing so please call one of the following numbers:

  • Office hours (8.30am – 5pm, Mon-Thu 8.30am – 4pm, Fri): Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub: 0345 050 7666
  • Outside office hours: Emergency Duty Team: 0800 833 408

If you are a professional

If there is an immediate risk or a child has suffered immediate harm, then you must contact the MASH as above. But if the concern is less clear, you need advice, or you want to share information safely you can also call the Locality Community Support Service to discuss non-urgent concerns. 

If you want support to help with problems and issues you can find information, helplines and ready-to use tools on the Oxfordshire Multi-Agency Practitioner Toolkit.  

Instant expert: There is extra support available for young people with special educational needs, learning difficulties or disabilities. Find out more at Special Education Needs : The Local Offer.

Find out more

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