Worried about a child
If you have concerns that a child is being harmed the worst thing you can do is nothing. Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Partnership (NCSCP) has produced information, which outlines the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect.
Most of us, at some time, will have a concern about a child who lives in our community. However, we don't always know what to do, whether to involve ourselves in someone else's business or who to tell.
Everyone, irrespective of whether they work directly with children and their families, has a responsibility to ensure that children's well-being is safeguarded and promoted. The worst thing you can do if you have concerns is nothing.
How do I know if a Child is Being Abused?
Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Partnership (NCSCP) has produced information, which outlines the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect. This may help you decide whether a child or young person is being, or is at risk of being abused or neglected.
Also, the DCSF has produced a booklet called "What to do if you are worried a child is being abused", which provides information about the Child Protection Process, and details what to do, what will happen next, and any further contribution you may need to make to the process.
The NCSCP has produced a leaflet which outlines the process of what may happen should you tell Children's Social Care that a child or young person is being abused or is in distress.
Who to Contact
If you believe that a child is at immediate risk and in need of protection then you should call the Police 999 immediately.
Alternatively, if you feel the child is a risk of abuse or neglect, but not in immediate need of protection, you should call the Police on 101.
Children's Social Care
If you make the decision to contact Children's Social Care, and the child or young person lives in Nottingham city, please call 0115 876 4800 or e-mail CityMASH@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
Nottingham City Council's Children's Social Care Department has issued guidance on their Screening and Duty Service which provides a clearer process to referrals into Children's Social Care. This can be downloaded at the bottom of this page; the document is entitled Nottingham City Council, Children's Social Care Screening and Duty Service.
You may be worried about the repercussions of reporting your concerns to Children's Social Care, both for yourself and your family. The person making the call will always be asked for their name and contact details - so you can be contacted again if needed. However, you can ask for your details to remain confidential, or provide information anonymously.
If you are an adult who wants to speak to someone because you are worried about a child's safety or wellbeing but are not sure what to do, you can phone the NSPCC Free Helpline on 0808 800 5000.