Child protection is everyone's business
The safety and welfare of children, or child protection, means protecting children from physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect.
All children have a right to be well looked after and protected from harm.
If you are worried about any child and think that they may be a victim of neglect, abuse or cruelty do not keep this to yourself or ignore it as child abuse of any kind is very serious and action must be taken quickly.
If you have concerns that a child in Warwickshire is suffering ANY form of neglect, abuse or cruelty you should report it IMMEDIATELY:
In an emergency, if you think a child is at immediate risk contact the Police immediately on 999
Worried or concerned about a child?
You don’t need to know everything about the child and what is happening to them to be worried or feel that everything is not right.
It is important to know:
- Protecting children is everybody’s business
- Adults have a moral responsibility to report abuse
- If in doubt share your concerns about children with someone. You can ask for advice from Warwickshire County Council’s Children’s Teams – see the number above
- Reporting concerns rarely leads to a child being removed from their family but can often lead to help being put into the family so that improvements can be made that help the whole family
- Act now – long-term abuse is damaging for children
Recognising child abuse
Child abuse can take different forms, all of which can cause long term damage to a child - physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, bullying, witnessing domestic violence and child sexual abuse.
You can be alert to the signs that a child may be experiencing abuse – think if he or she is:
- Frequently dirty, hungry or inadequately dressed
- Left in unsafe situations or without medical attention
- Constantly being 'put down', insulted, sworn at or humiliated by their parents or carers
- Seems afraid of their parents or carers
- Showing severe bruising or other injuries
- Making sexual references or displaying sexual behaviour which doesn’t seem appropriate for their age
- Growing up in a home where there is domestic violence
- Living with parents or carers who are involved in serious drug or alcohol abuse
Remember, this list does not cover every possible situation where child abuse may be a possibility. You may have seen other things in the child’s behaviour or circumstances that worry you.