Safeguarding is Everyone’s Business. If you have a concern about a child, don’t ignore it, report it.
This page is to help you if you have any concerns about a child as a parent or carer and to point you in the right direction if you need any help or advice.
The safety and welfare of children – or safeguarding – is everybody’s responsibility. Safeguarding means protecting children from physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect in all environments including at home, in school, on the street and in the digital world. It also means helping children to grow up into confident, healthy and happy adults.
Most children generally enjoy happy childhood experiences within their own family. Unfortunately for some, this is not the case. As a parent, carer, neighbour or anyone in contact with children and families you may at times have concerns about the welfare of a child. These could be concerns about their development, appearance or behaviour which may indicate signs of abuse.
If you are suspicious or have any concerns that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, including any form of mistreatment or abuse, see our reporting concerns page.
What is Abuse?
Abuse can happen to a child or young person at any age. It can happen in any family, from any ethnic background. It can happen to children and young people whether they have a disability or not.
Abusers can be adults but not just parents, grandparents or carers, abuse often occurs within a relationship of trust e.g. a teacher, carer, family friend or youth leader. Other children and young people can also be abusers
Abuse can happen because of the way adults or other children and young people behave towards a child or young person. It can also result from adults failing to provide proper care for the children they look after. A child or young person can suffer different kinds of abuse at the same time.
- Physical Abuse – When an adult deliberately hurts a child, such as hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning or suffocating.
- Emotional Abuse – When a child is being unfairly blamed for everything all the time; or told they are stupid and made to feel unhappy.
- Sexual Abuse – Where a child is forced to take part in sexual activities; or in taking rude photos.
- Neglect – When a child is not being looked after properly; for example, not getting enough to eat, or being left alone in dangerous situations.