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Keeping children safe

father and daughter

The number to call if you are worried about a child or young person and think they may be the victim of neglect or abuse:

  • If you think a child or young person is in immediate danger telephone 999
  • If a child or young person is at risk of significant harm contact the Safeguarding Referral Team Telephone 01782 235100 : email
  • You can call someone in Stoke-on-Trent to help if you are worried about a child or young person and think they may be a victim of neglect or abuse : Advice and Access Team Telephone 01782 232200
  • email
  • Emergency Duty Team - 01782 234234 (After 5pm)

We know that parents are responsible for their children’s safety. However, child protection is everyone's responsibility.

Very few adults harm children deliberately and usually when harm does happen, families need support, not punishment or the removal of their children.

Social workers and other professionals get involved when parents may be unable to protect their child from harm and need some help. In some cases the Police Child Protection Unit will need to investigate with social workers to help protect children and decide whether an offence has been committed against a child or young person.

Things you should know:

  • Child abuse is not easy to recognise, prevent or stop.
  • It is rarely impossible to definitely say that a child or young person has been harmed or by whom.
  • A careful assessment is needed to find out what has happened and what support and protection will best help the family.
  • As a result it can be difficult to avoid some intrusion into family life.
  • A social worker will ask questions about the family circumstances; consider the frequency and the seriousness of the incident and the effect on the child or young person.
  • All of these factors will help to decide what should happen next to support and protect the child / young person and their family.

We are all responsible for keeping children safe
Professionals are not solely responsible for protecting children, but in order to help them they rely on information from parents, family, other professionals and the local community who all play an important part in identifying concerns about those close to them.

Any information you give will be treated with care. Any details including your name will not be revealed unless the child's safety requires it.

Even if you don't give your name, we can still make enquiries into the child's care and welfare. But withholding your name may make it more difficult for those looking into the concerns.

Will the child be removed from home?
Reporting concerns about a child rarely results in the child being removed from home. This is not the main aim of child protection investigations and rarely happens. Social workers can only remove children from home with a court order, having demonstrated that there is serious and immediate risk. In emergency situations the police have power to remove a child for no more than 24 hours.

Don't wait for someone else to report it, act now. If there is nothing to worry about our assessment will reveal this.

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