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Children's Services

Child Protection

Reporting child abuse - What happens when I contact the Children’s Services Department about a child I think is being ill-treated?

If anyone - for example, a neighbour, a relative, a doctor, a teacher - thinks that a child is being ill-treated, they should ask Children’s Services to find out what is really happening and as well as contacting us by phone, they should also confirm their concerns in writing. By law, we have to look into every case that is brought to our notice (under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989)

What happens next?

  • Unless the case is an emergency, Children’s Services will try to find out as much as possible about the child and their family before deciding what action to take. In most cases a social worker will visit the child and their family, sometimes accompanied by the police.

  • If he or she believes that a child seems to be at risk of injury, abuse or neglect we hold a Child Protection Conference, which is a meeting to discuss what has been happening and decide what needs to be done. We want to keep families together if at all possible, even when we believe that children could be at risk.

  • The conference is usually held in a room in the nearest Children’s Services office or in another Children’s Services building, with everyone sitting round a table.