Anything you notice can help a child at risk.

We all have a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect.

Many people do not act because they’re worried about being wrong.

You don’t have to be absolutely certain about your suspicions; if you’re concerned a child is being abused or their safety is at risk, speak to someone.

Following these simple steps and reporting your concerns to your local children’s social care team could provide the missing piece of information that is needed to keep a child safe.

Child abuse. If you think it, report it.

Signs to spot

To spot the signs of child abuse or neglect look out for changes in these characteristics.

  • Appearance: Unexplained injuries, cuts or bruises or consistently poor hygiene.
  • Behaviour: such as demanding or aggressive behaviour, frequent lateness or absence from school. Being constantly tired.
  • Communication: such as talking aggressively, self harming or becoming secretive and withdrawn.

What to do if you suspect

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, it is important to tell someone.

  • Some people prefer to talk to their partner, a family member or a friend before they make a report, and that is perfectly fine.
  • Find the contact details of your local children’s social care team (Local Authority) to report your concern.
  • Alternatively, if you are worried about a child's immediate safety, contact the police by dialling 999.

What happens when you report

When you contact your local children’s social care team (Local Authority) they will:

  • Listen: Your concern will be listened to carefully and assessed.
  • Gather information: From many sources as your report forms one part of a bigger picture.
  • Assess: If concerns are raised about a child, a social worker will make an assessment and decide what support to provide.
  • Decide: It may be that the concerns are unfounded and that no further action is necessary, although all concerns are taken seriously.

We all have a role to play.

Anything you notice can help a child at risk.