adults have a responsibility to share any concerns they have, even when they may have some doubts as to whether a child is being harmed.

If you are concerned about a child speak to someone. This might be a health visitor, nursery staff, teacher, family doctor, social worker or police officer.

Make sure you:

· Act promptly note your concerns and share them with a professional

· Explain exactly what you have seen or heard

· Give as much information as you know about the child and family

· If a child discloses a concern offer them reassurance but do not question them at length.

If the child is at risk of abuse this information will need to be shared with other agencies.

Contacting the Police or Children Social Care
You can contact a duty Social Worker at Children’s Social Care or speak to the Police. They will ask you to explain your concerns about the child. What you say will be treated seriously and confidentially. Your identity will be protected unless you give permission for it to be disclosed.

You will be told what action will be taken about the concerns you have but you may not be told about what is being done as this may be confidential to the child.

In the majority of cases families may only need extra support to help them keep their children safe. Only in rare circumstances do reported concerns result in children having to live apart from their families.

Who to contact?
If you think a child or young person is being abused or mistreated or you have concerns about the safety or welfare of a child, you must speak to someone immediately. You can ring the Multi Agency Support Hub (MASH) on 01234 718700 (office hours) or ring 0300 300 8123 (out of hours).

[email protected]

If it is an emergency please ring 999