Reporting abuse of children and young people
The council works with other agencies including the police and local health services within our pledge to protect the most vulnerable.
If you are concerned that a child, young person or a vulnerable adult, is at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect, or you yourself are a victim of abuse, you should report it straight away so that the appropriate services can take the appropriate actions to prevent harm.
- Report any safeguarding concerns about a child or young person to Children's Safeguarding/Social Work Team on 01925 443322
- Outside of office hours ring us on 01925 444400
- If you believe a crime has been committed contact the police on 101
- If you believe the adult is at immediate risk of harm dial 999
We all have a responsibility to be alert to possible concerns and act to safeguard others in our families and communities who may be less able to protect themselves.
If you're a teacher, doctor, nurse, youth worker, etc, please use the multi-agency request for services (MARS) form to refer a child or young person who you think may be vulnerable or at risk. Please send your completed form from a secure email address e.g. GCSx/nhs.net/pnn.police/cjsm.
- Multi-agency request for services (MARS) form [pdf]
- MARS guidance note [pdf] will help you fill in the form
Spotting signs of abuse in children
The council is supporting a Department for Education nationwide campaign to encourage members of the public to report child abuse to get help to children more quickly, and to make it normal practice to report it. To spot the signs of child abuse or neglect, below are some examples to look for changes in:
- Appearance – such as frequent unexplained injuries, consistently poor hygiene, matted hair, unexplained gifts, or parents regularly collecting children from school when drunk
- Behaviour - such as demanding or aggressive behaviour, frequent lateness or absence from school, avoiding their own family, misusing drugs or alcohol, or being constantly tired
- Communication – such as sexual or aggressive language, self-harming, becoming secretive and reluctant to share information or being overly obedient
More information: Multi-agency thresholds for safeguarding children including early help and protection Report child abuse (gov.uk) | Report child abuse (NSPCC) | Worried about a child? (Action for Children) | Child sexual abuse (NHS)
Domestic abuse affects the whole family. Don't suffer in silence, talk to someone that can help: Domestic abuse support services