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National FGM Centre

Project start date: December 2019

In partnership with the Local Government Association, we (Barnardo’s) were awarded up to £1.7m to expand the role of  the National FGM Centre to develop a system change in social work with girls and families affected by female genital mutilation (FGM) . The project will now include three high prevalence areas and it will cover other harmful practices.

Project Summary


The problem the NFGMC is addressing is the prevalence of hidden forms of child abuse in England known as female genital mutilation (FGM), abuse linked to faith or belief, and breast ironing/flattening. The project will scale and spread the NFGMC’s work to date, transferring the learning to high prevalence areas and new harmful practices (HPs). It will implement its new delivery model in social work enabling local authorities (LAs) to provide specialist services to children and families. Social workers, managed by NFGMC, will be located in local authorities’ safeguarding teams with delegated authority or duties. They will intervene early with families, working with teachers and health professionals, to develop long-term safeguarding plans for children at risk, including using FGM protection orders (FGMPOs). The outcomes it is working towards include:

Learning to date includes:

This project is an expansion of the National FGM Centre, established in 2015 with Round One Innovation Programme funding, and it is now part funded to 2020.

Project contact details

Leethen Bartholomew

Head of National FGM Centre

Meg Fassam-Wright

National Lead – Strategic Partnering and Sustainability

Project evaluators

University of Bedfordshire

Project partners

Barnardo’s working with Local Government Association in three low prevalence and at least three high prevalence local authorities – TBC

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