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Worried about a child

boy alone

Protecting children and young people is everybody’s responsibility.

  •  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
  • Emergency Duty Team - 01782 234234 (After 5pm )


  • Put it off.
  • Press the child for explanations.
  • Leave it to someone else to help the child.
  • Be afraid to voice your concerns, the child may need urgent protection and help.
  • Tell the parents if sexual abuse is suspected.

Any child anywhere can be abused at any time. Disabled children are especially vulnerable. Child abuse can be committed by anyone – adults or children. .A Safeguarding Children Board leaflet no. 3 "Protecting children and young people is your responsibility too. What can you do?" is available to help to guide you. 

What will happen?

The person you speak to will take your concerns very seriously and refer your case to a social worker trained in Child Protection who will contact you. Whatever you say will be treated in confidence. The social worker will check whether the family is known to the service already and will discuss the case with a manager.

Enquires often begin by asking other people in contact with the child, such as teachers, health visitors or doctors, to see if they have any concerns about the child too. In most cases there will be a discussion between the social worker, the parents and the child. Sometimes it soon becomes clear that there is nothing to worry about, but if concern remains about the welfare of the child, the formal Child Protection Enquiry procedures will begin immediately. This work is highly confidential, you may not be kept informed as the enquiry continues, but your alertness will have been the important first step in protecting the child or young person.

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.

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