Our challenge

As you are reading this, 100,000 girls in the UK are at risk of FGM.

The practice is shrouded in secrecy, so it can be difficult to know when a girl is at risk. Social workers told us they didn’t feel confident assessing the risk of FGM in their community. 

Our solution

Screenshot of FGM assessment tool start page

We developed the FGM assessment tool, a web-based app that:

  • gathers information supplied by the social worker to help assess whether a girl is at risk of female genital mutilation
  • provides support, guidance and next steps
  • ensures the security and data protection of all parties involved

This simple tool can save a girl’s life and protect many more from severe pain and trauma. 

Designing the tool

We designed the FGM assessment tool together with the National FGM Centre and Local Government Association, funded by the Department for Education. 

We worked with experts from government and the social care system to ensure we built a tool that meets their needs. And we tested it continuously as we developed it.

We created the code using a scalable technical approach. This means we can re-apply it to other tools, for example, to help assess the risk of physical abuse, domestic violence, isolation and child trafficking.

We can build on the technology we created to make multiple new products that help children and young people with minimal cost to Barnardo's.

Using the tool

phone screenshot of FGM assessment tool

Social workers can access the tool on their phones and tablets.

Since its launch in February 2018, more than 2,000 people have used it nearly 3,000 times.  

We designed it for social workers, but it’s accessible to anyone who might need it.

It has already been successfully used by judges and the police.

You don’t need training to use it, but we offer support and training to local authorities who request it, and it is CPD creditable. 

Next steps

The tool is live but we're continuing to iterate and improve it based on insight and feedback. We're planning a Welsh-language version for 2019.

Find out more

You can access the FGM assessment tool yourself, or learn more about the FGM Assessment tool and the team who built it.