About Us

National FGM Centre
image of women and child talking

Our Vision and Aims

The National FGM Centre’s Vision is to keep children and young people safe from FGM and other Harmful Practices, including ending new cases of FGM by 2030. Through our work we aim to:

  • Prevent new cases
  • Protect children and young people
  • Support those affected by FGM and other Harmful Practices
  • Partner to deliver services and learn

We have had 450 case referrals between Sept 2015 – March 2019 from our Local Authorities in East England and London and 14 from other Local Authorities in England and Wales. We have supported the application of 28 FGM Protection Orders over this time.

As of October 2017, we have expanded our remit to include Breast Flattening and Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief.

Who are we?

The National FGM Centre is a partnership between Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association (LGA) to achieve a systems change in the provision of services for children and families affected by Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Funded by the Department of Education as part of its Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme, the Centre works closely with key partners from Local Authorities, Health, Education, Police, and the voluntary sector to achieve its vision and aims. In 2017, the Centre’s remit was extended to include Breast Ironing/Flattening and Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief.

In this video, Leethen Bartholomew, our Head of Centre, talks about the Centre and what we do.

Our Team

We are a team made of frontline Social Workers, Children Service Manager, National Lead for Strategic Partnering and Sustainability, National Lead for Learning & Professional Development, Knowledge Hub and Digital Officer, Administrator, Business Support Manager and our Head of Centre, Leethen Bartholomew.

Centre Diagram

Our Services

Social Care Provision

Our specialist social workers are embedded in Local Authorities and provide support in cases where FGM, Breast Flattening or Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief are a concern. This can range from advice and guidance to frontline professionals, to child protection proceedings and applications for FGM Protection Orders.

“Thank you for your support during the Ofsted Inspection…The excellent work that you are doing in relation to FGM…was highlighted in the feedback by the inspectors ” (Director, local authority)

Community Engagement

two women shaking hands

We recognise the need to engage communities in prevention to change embedded attitudes and behaviour.

This includes working with men and boys and faith leaders. Community organisations are engaged through stakeholder events, peer research and community intervention programmes.

We also work with schools to engage with parents and their local communities.

Knowledge Hub

Knowledge Hub Screen Shot

The interactive Knowledge Hub provides a “one-stop shop” for quality assured national and international guidance, information and resources regarding FGM, Breast Flattening and Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief.

It helps to support the continued learning of professionals, the development of good practice, and the understanding of excellence in the delivery of services.

The Knowledge Hub is updated with resources and content regularly, however, if you feel something is missing, contact our Knowledge Hub and Digital Officier to suggest a resource/document.

Professional Development & Training

We offer half /full day CPD Accredited training  for all professionals, including community organisations.

As well as educating professionals on what FGM /Breast Flattening/CALFB is, the training focusses on how to talk to families, what is needed to be included in a referral in order for it to reach statutory threshold and the law. Over 99% of participants would recommend the training.

“There was a frank and clear discussion of issues that are still often seen as ‘taboo’. Also, there was clear instruction in terms of what we must do as professionals if a disclosure is made” (Participant)