Report concerns about a child
Worried about a child?
You may be concerned about a child or young person. You may or may not know them, or even their name. Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility. Abuse can take many different forms, such as neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse and even emotional abuse.
Don't assume that someone else will take responsibility and make that phone call. You could help to save a child's life. If you are worried, report it.
If you think that a child has been harmed or is being neglected, contact the MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) or the Police on the contact numbers listed below:
Emergency Duty Team
(01905) 768020 (out of hours number for when MASH are unavailable)
Contacting the Police when you think a child is in immediate danger:
999 (in an emergency)*
Contacting the police to discuss a child protection or safeguarding concern when a child is not in immediate danger:
101*** (you can also email the police to inform them of concerns and start a conversation with them at email@example.com)
0808 800 5000*
* Calls are free of charge from all consumer landlines and mobile phones.
** Calls cost no more than calls to geographic (01 and 02) numbers.
***Calls to 101 (from both landlines and mobile networks) cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call, or how long you are on the phone. The 15p cost of the call goes to the telephony providers to cover the cost of carrying the calls. The police and government receive no money from calls to 101.
There are many possible signs of abuse and neglect, ranging from physical injury to changes in appearance or behaviour. Alternatively, you may witness an incident or a child may tell you that he or she is being harmed. If you are worried, report it.
Please click on the NSPCC link below for signs of abuse:-
Talking to Someone
You can talk to someone about a concern in confidence on the NSPCC helpline or ChildLine. You can also contact the Family Assessment Safeguarding Team (FAST) on (01432) 261628.
What will happen if I report child abuse?
All childcare agencies believe that children are best cared for by their parents. Children are rarely removed from their parents and most families are given help and support. Social workers can only remove children from home with a court order and only after they have demonstrated that the child is at serious risk.
If a child has been abused and is at risk of further abuse, a Child Protection Conference may be held. The purpose of a Child Protection Conference is to ensure that all agencies work together with the family to protect the child.
A Child Protection Conference may decide to add the child's name to the Child Protection list and a Child Protection Plan of Care will be drawn up with specific outcomes to protect the child, which is reviewed at statutory intervals.
Effects of abuse and neglect
Child abuse, especially when it continues over a long period, can have major effects on a child's health, development and well-being. Sustained abuse has a deep impact on a child's self image and self esteem lasting into their adult lives.
Evidence and the accounts of adults that have been abused as children show that it can have damaging effects on an adult's ability to make and sustain close relationships and their ability to develop the necessary skills and attitudes to be a good parent.
In extreme circumstances child abuse can result in death or serious or permanent injury.