Do you have concerns about a child?

It is everyone's responsibility to protect children

All children have a right to grow up in a caring and safe environment. All adults have a responsibility to protect children.

What is child abuse?

There are different types of abuse:

  • Physical injury (being hit, kicked, punched)
  • Physical neglect (not being properly fed or clothed, poor hygiene)
  • Sexual abuse (inappropriate sexual behaviour, language or assault)
  • Emotional abuse (constantly criticised, ignored, humiliated)

What might make me concerned?

Children rarely tell if they are being abused, however, there may be signs which make you concerned and may be an indication of a child being abused:

The child

  • May have unexplained bruising or bruising in an unusual place
  • May appear afraid, quiet or withdrawn
  • Appear afraid to go home
  • Appear hungry, tired or unkempt
  • Be left unattended or unsupervised
  • May have too much responsibility for their age
  • May be acting out in a sexually inappropriate way
  • May be misusing drugs or alcohol

The adult (parent or carer)

  • May be acting in a violent or sexual manner towards a child
  • May be misusing drink or drugs while caring for a child

These are some examples of what might make you worried. On their own, they do not necessarily mean a child is being abused. You may know of other concerns. If in doubt, you should check it out to ensure the child is safe.

What should I do if I am concerned?

If you are concerned about a child speak to someone. This might be a health visitor, nursery staff, teacher, GP, social worker, police officer or member of staff from our social work locality offices.

Please use the 'contact us' box if you have any questions. For more information, see 'related pages', 'downloads' or 'other useful websites'

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