Talking about child abuse can be
upsetting – take space and time if you
To develop awareness of, and the
ability to act on, concerns about the
safety and welfare of children and
Two parts to safeguarding
Protect children from maltreatment
“Child abuse and neglect”
Abuse an neglect are forms of
maltreatment of a child.
Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by
inflicting harm, or failing to act to prevent
Children may be abused in a family or in an
institutional or community setting, by those
know to them or, more rarely, by a
They may be abused by an adult or adults,
or another child or children.
Categories of abuse
What do children need?
Good family environment
How worries about children come to
A child tells someone what is happening to them.
You see signs of abuse or neglect.
You see worries changes in a child’s behaviour or
You see worries changes in a parent’s behaviour
to a child.
Someone else tells you about something they
have seen or heard.
An adult or child tells you that they have hurt a
A parent or carer tells you that they are having
problems in meeting their child’s needs.
Key guidance and legislation
United Nation Convention on the Rights of the
Human Rights Act 1998
Children Act 1989
Framework Children in Need and their Families for
the Assessment of (2000)
What To Do if You’re Worried a Child is Being
Education Act 2002
Children Act 2004 (section 11)
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006)
Child in Need
Children Act 1989 s17(10)
A child shall be taken to be in need if:
Is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or have the
opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a
reasonable standard of health or development
without the provision for them of services by a
local authority under this part.
Health or development is likely to be significantly
impaired, or further impaired, without the provision
of such services.
Is case of disability.
Definition of Harm
Harm is defined in the Children Act 1989 section
ill- treatment (including sexual abuse and physical
Impairment of health (physical or mental)
Impairment of development (physical, intellectual,
emotional, social or behavioural)
Significant Harm - 1
The children Act 1989 uses the
concept of significant harm to justify
compulsory intervention in family life.
The local authority has a duty to
make enquiries where it has
reasonable cause to suspect a child
is suffering significant harm.
Significant Harm - 2
There are no absolute criteria for
indentifying significant harm. The
severity of ill-treatment depends on:
The degree and extent of physical
The duration and frequency of abuse
Significant Harm - 3
The extent of premeditation.
The degree of treat and coercion,
sadism and/or unusual elements.
In each case consider ill-treatment
alongside the family strengths and
Fear you may be wrong.
Doubts about the child’s truthfulness.
Anger and distress.
Child’s attempts to bind you to secrecy.
Uncertainty of procedures and
There may be other reasons for the child’s
Not wanting to interfere in family life.
Who are children likely to turn to?
‘The majority of children and young people
indentify at least one person they can talk
to …. A Significant minority of children do
not feel they have anyone they can trust to
share their worries with.’
Other trusted adult
What is important to children when
seeking an adult to trust:
Being there: children and young people having
the general feeling that an adult is there for them.
Proving themselves: taking the time to listen,
acting appropriately and keeping promises.
Having the right attitude: not losing their temper
or trying to take over.
Knowing what they’re talking about: sharing
relevant experience, and not acting as if they know
more than they do.
Sharing your concerns
‘Identification of need’
Try to sort out in you mind why you are worried,
What you have seen.
What you have heard from others.
What has been said to you directly.
Try to be as clear as you can about why you are
worried but do not be afraid to listen to your
instinct that something just does not seem to be
What should you do?
Be alert to signs of abuse and neglect. It can happen
Be prepared to respond calmly. Children are more likely to
allow you to help them if you are prepared to listen and
appear not to panic.
Keep a clear record of your concerns and what action you
Make yourself aware of local procedures for responding to
Consult your Agency Child Protection advisor and/or Social
Care if you are in any doubt.
Where circumstances allow be honest as possible with
What should you not do?
Promise the child that you will not tell
anyone else. Instead explain that to help
them stop the abuse you will need to talk to
Try to “go it alone”. Children are best
protected when all agencies do work
“Safeguarding & Promoting the
welfare of children” is not just about
reacting when facing serious or
It is the proactive engagement with
children, parents, cares, as well as
colleagues to make sure children are
safe and are achieving their potential.
It is the responsibility of professionals to
report concerns, NOT to decide whether it
is or is not child abuse.
Child protection is a multi-disciplinary
activity. No individual should ever feel the
sole responsibility of identifying abuse
The worst thing you can do is do nothing