Parents and Carers

Together We Can Tackle Child Abuse

We all have a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect.

All children have a right to be safe and should be protected from all forms of abuse and neglect. A third of people who suspect child abuse, do nothing. A number of people do not act on their suspicions because they’re worried about being wrong.

You don’t have to be absolutely certain about whether a child is being abused; if you have a feeling that something’s not right, talk to Children’s Social Care who can look into it.

Information is usually gathered from many sources, and your report would form one part of a bigger picture. In 2014/15, more than 400,000 children in England were supported because someone noticed they needed help.

If you’re concerned about a child call:

  • 0151 907 8305 (Office Hours Mon-Thurs, 9am – 5pm, 9am – 4.30pm Fri)
  • 0345 050 0148 (Outside Office Hours and throughout Weekends)
  • Cheshire Police 101 (non-emergency) 999 (emergency)

Post COVID-19 Safeguarding Advice for Parents and Carers

This guidance brings together sources of information about the main risks children may be particularly vulnerable to during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and signposts you to help and support available.

Child Exploitation

Any child under 18 years may find themselves in a situation that puts them at risk of CE. It can happen to boys as well as girls. This Child Exploitation could be in a form such as Criminal (CCE) or Sexual (CSE).
Children who are exploited can be vulnerable because of chaotic or traumatic experiences in their lives, making them targets for perpetrators, gangs and networks. However, it can happen to anyone and perpetrators use a variety of means to coerce and control their victims, sometimes without them realising they are being exploited.

Some potential indicators of child exploitation include;

  • Persistently going missing from school or home and / or being found out of area;
  • Unexplained acquisition of money, clothes, or mobile phones;
  • Excessive receipt of texts / phone calls;
  • Relationships with controlling / older individuals or groups;
  • Leaving home / care without explanation;
  • Suspicion of physical assault / unexplained injuries;
  • Carrying weapons;
  • Significant decline in school results / performance;
  • Gang association or isolation from peers or social networks;
  • Self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being and / or their behaviour.

If you are worried about your child call Children’s Social Care or the Police:

  • Halton Children’s Social Care Contact Centre
    • 0151 907 8305 (Office Hours Mon-Thurs, 9am – 5pm, 9am – 4.30pm Fri)
    • 0345 050 0148 (Outside Office Hours and throughout Weekends)
  • Cheshire Police 101 (non-emergency) 999 (emergency)


Signposting for further CE Support

    PACE (Parents against Child Exploitation) offer advice for parents whose children have been sexually exploited or where there are significant concerns. They also provide phone and online counselling for parents as well as parents support meetings.

    PACE has also developed free e-learning for parents and carers to help identify the signs of your child’s online behaviour may be putting them at risk. The following resources are available to help you and your child:

    CEOP Thinkuknow  provides a range of resources for parents and carers, including videos around sexting and the sharing of indecent images and how to deal with this issue.

    O2 NSPCC online safety helpline provides advice and support on setting up parental controls, adjusting privacy settings, understanding social networks and more. Anyone can call the free ‘phone number: 0808 800 5002 or website

    Internet Matters offers information about many of the issues and technologies that children may come across in the online world. From sexting to cyberbullying it provides practical suggestions about how to take preventative measures, but also what to do if your family needs advice about a specific issue.

    Vodafone Digital Parenting magazine developed in partnership with Parent Zone, includes articles about cyberbullying, sexting and extremism and brings together advice from academics, psychologists and other experts to help keep young people safe in the digital world.

    St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)



    Spotting the signs of exploitation



    We Are With You  – Free confidential support with alcohol, drugs or mental health from one of their local services or online for those over 13 years old

    Signposting other Parent / Carer Support has launched in Halton. It is a free online resource that gives parents and carers some support with your relationship.

    There are videos, mindfulness sessions and downloadable cards to help with some really common things like struggling to communicate well with your partner, raising kids together, and parenting after break-up. Please note that these tools have not been developed for parents experiencing domestic abuse.

    It’s mobile-friendly and easy to use, so you can use it on your own.

    The website for you to access this resource is: