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 have concerns about a child’s welfare, or feel that they may be being abused or neglected, please contact the 

  • Integrated Contact and Referral Team (iCART)  0151 907 8305 (9am-5pm Monday to Thursday, 9am-4.30pm Fridays)
  • Emergency Duty Team  0345 050 0148 (5pm-9am Monday to Thursday & 4.30pm-9am Fridays; 24 hours on bank holidays & weekends)
  • Cheshire Police 24 hour   Tel 101 (Non-emergency) 999 emergency
  • Email: [email protected] (always use secure or encrypted email)


Professional/practitioner referrals:

If you wish to make a referral for safeguarding or to request early intervention, you need to complete the multi-agency online referral form.

You will need to follow your safeguarding procedures and gain consent, where appropriate and possible. You will always need to gain consent for early intervention cases.

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.