Reporting a concern

Are You Worried About a Child or Young Person?

I’m not sure, what is Child Abuse?

Child Abuse, also referred to as Significant Harm, takes many forms but the key categories are Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Neglect.

For more information about these forms of abuse, see Signs and Symptoms.

If you are concerned…

Call MAST (Multi-Agency Screening Team): 01422 393336 (in normal working hours)

Out of hours call the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on:  01422 288000

If you know of a child or young person who is living with people that are not close relatives , it might be a private fostering arrangement and you need to contact Children Social Care about this.

Early Intervention and Safeguarding statutory request for service / referral form:

Unless there are child protection concerns or a statutory requirement to undertake an assessment i.e private fostering, homeless etc, MAST will only accept referrals from agencies with an Early Intervention Single Assessment (EISA).

General advice

Do:

  • Listen to the child
  • Take what the child says seriously
  • Act fast
  • Share your worries with Children’s Social Care or the Police – they are there to help you
  • Continue to offer the child support

Don’t:

  • Put it off
  • Press the child for explanations
  • Leave it to someone else to help the child
  • Be afraid to voice your concerns, the child may need urgent protection and help
  • Tell the parents if sexual abuse is suspected

Remember:

Any child anywhere can be abused at any time. Disabled children are especially vulnerable. Child abuse can be committed by anyone – adults or children

What will happen?

The person you speak to in Children’s Social Care will take your concerns very seriously and refer your case to a social worker trained in child protection who will contact you. Whatever you say will be treated in confidence. The social worker will check whether the family is known to the service already and will discuss the case with a manager.

Enquires often begin by asking other people in contact with the child, such as teachers, health visitors or doctors, to see if they have any concerns about the child too. In most cases there will be a discussion between the social worker, the parents and the child. Sometimes it soon becomes clear that there is nothing to worry about, but if concern remains about the welfare of the child, the formal Child Protection Enquiry procedures will begin immediately. This work is highly confidential, you may not be kept informed as the enquiry continues, but your alertness will have been the important first step in protecting the child.