What should I do if I think a child is being abused?

Covid-19 statement

If you are worried about a child, please follow the usual procedures; the contact and referral process remains the same.

What is child abuse?

There are different types of abuse. It can include:

  • Physical injury – such as hitting, shaking, punching and kicking
  • Neglect – not being properly fed, clothed or medical needs not being met
  • Emotional abuse – when a child is starved of love and affection, or is constantly criticised humiliated or bullied
  • Sexual abuse – including inappropriate sexual behaviour, language or assault

Who has the responsibility to protect children?

We all do. Whether we are:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Neighbours
  • Members of the public
  • People who work with children – like teachers, health professionals and youth workers

If you suspect a child is being abused and you are a child, parent or member of the general public Children’s Social Care can help and advise you.

Our first concern is the safety and welfare of the child. In most cases this involves helping people to become more able to care for their children, keeping children safe in their own home with their own family.

  • Contact Halton Children’s Social Care Contact Centre on: 0151 907 8305 (Office Hours 9 am – 5 pm Mon – Thurs, 9 am – 4.30 pm Fri)
  • Contact Emergency Duty Service on 0345 050 0148 (out of office hours)

National guidance “What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused” for those who come into contact with children and families in their everyday work, including people who do not have a specific role in relation to child protection: