Worried about a child?

If you believe that a child is suffering, or at risk of significant harm, or is left alone and they are in immediate danger you should contact the relevant emergency services by ringing 999. If the child you are concerned about is not in immediate danger you should report your concern to us.

Do you think a child or young person you know might be suffering from any of the following?

  • Physical abuse – is being deliberately hurt or injuring a child, or by failing to act to prevent harm. This could by caused by hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or other physical harm and can leave more than physical marks on a body.
  • Neglect – on-going failure to meet a child’s basic needs. This could be caused by being left hungry or dirty, without proper clothing, shelter, supervision or health care.
  • Sexual abuse – forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities which may include physical contact in a sexual manner, child looking at or being involved in the production of sexual images or encouraging the child to behave in inappropriate ways or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet)
  • Emotional abuse – being hostile or indifferent behaviour towards a child or young person which damages a child’s sense of self-esteem, degrades a sense of achievement, diminishes a sense of belonging and prevents health development of a child’s well-being including exposure to domestic violence

What should you do to help?

  • Act promptly
  • Report your concerns about the safety and well-being of a child to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) between 9am and 5pm Mon-Thurs and 9am-4.30pm on Fri by:
  • Outside these hours contact the Emergency Social work team on 01908 265545.
  • If you are a professional, please complete the online Multi-Agency Referral Form on the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) page
  • Give us as much information as you can about the child and the family including any names, address, ages and gender as well as your concerns.

Please don't:

  • ignore your concerns
  • assume someone else will call
  • try to resolve the situation yourself

You can also speak to a health visitor, GP, teacher or any professional about your concerns and they can advise you about what to do and what support is available.

If you are worried about an adult, please see "Worried about an adult at risk?"

Last Updated: 9 July 2020