Safeguarding Children from Harm and Child Protection
Children’s Social Care work with families to
enable children to live safe from harm within their family and the
community wherever possible. All parents experience
difficulties at some time and need help from family and
friends. Sometimes some parents require the support of
professional and voluntary agencies to assist them with specific
problems and challenges they face. For a small number of
children and their parents’ additional support will be necessary to
protect them from abuse and neglect and provide
them with support and services so that they can have the same
opportunities open to them as all children and young people.
What is child abuse and neglect?
Some abuse may happen because parents, carers or other
adults act in ways which harm children. Other kinds of abuse occur
when adults fail to take action to protect children or fail to meet
a child’s basic needs.
There are four main types of abuse:
This may involve hurting or injuring a child by hitting, shaking,
poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise
causing physical harm to a child.
Persistent emotional ill treatment of a child. It may involve
telling children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or
valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.
Forcing or enticing
a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether
or not the child is aware of what is happening. It may also include
non-contact activities such as involving children in inappropriate
Persistent failure to
meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, which is
likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or
Witnessing domestic abuse is also harmful to children.
If you are involved in domestic
abuse (new window) talk to someone.
What might make you concerned?
There are many possible signs of abuse ranging from
physical injury to changes in behaviour. In some cases a
child may tell you that they are being harmed. Alternatively
you may witness an incident either between a parent and a child or
a professional or volunteer working with children, which causes you
to be concerned.
What to do if you are concerned?
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
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?
Children Social Care
North Bedfordshire (01234) 223599
Social Care out of office hours and at weekends 08702385465
North & Mid Bedfordshire Police (01234) 841212
Luton and South Beds Police (01582) 401212
If it is an emergency please ring 999