Worried about a child
- Protecting children and young people is everybody’s responsibility.
- Adults have a responsibility to report concerns about a child or young person.
- Consider offering some support if you are worried., and it is appropriate to do so.
- If in any doubt whatsoever, share your concerns with either another adult, or a professional.
- Reporting concerns rarely leads to a child being removed.
- Act now - long-term abuse is damaging for children and young people.
- All parents/carers experience difficulties at various times that can be helped by other family members or close friends.
If someone you know is having difficulties, you could offer the following:
- A listening ear.
- Ideas to cope with problems.
- Encouragement to get some help.
- Practical support (childcare/shopping).
However there may be times when a child or young person may be at risk of harm and professional support is needed.
How would you want other people to act if your child was being harmed?
- Would you want them to mind their own business? or
- To report their worry to a professional who could help?
When we suspect, witness or are told of a child/young person that is being hurt we can react in many different ways. We may feel guilt, anger, disbelief or denial. Some of these reactions can prevent help quickly getting to a family who need it.
Many people do not tell because they fear the following:
- Children and young people will be at further risk of harm.
- They believe that nothing will be done.
- They believe that the child or young person would be taken away.
- They worry that the family may find out who reported them, and there will be repercussions.
- Telling may ruin family relationships.
In reality, it is best to take action early to stop things getting worse. Long-term abuse is much more likely to cause problems for a child or young person as they get older. Even if you think an incident is just a one off, other professional agencies may already have concerns about the child or young person. Therefore, your information could be very important. You can discuss your concerns in confidence with a police officer, a health visitor, school nurse, social worker or any other professional working with the child, young person or family. They will then make a decision as to what will happen next.
If you wish, we will give you feedback about what we've done in response to your concerns.
Please remember - everyone has a duty to make sure our children and young people are safe from abuse. If you have any concerns, suspicions, or information indicating a child or young person is being harmed, DON'T IGNORE IT.
See the latest updates
Don't forget when you're looking at our website to refresh your pages to make sure you're seeing the latest updates of information and support. Just click your control key and the refresh button on your computer at the same time to refresh the web page you are looking at.