Child protection and safeguarding

Child protection and safeguarding are subjects we take very seriously. We invite you to read our guidance, and identify how you can protect and safeguard vulnerable children, young people and adults.

On this page we will address:

We inform and offer guidance to staff and volunteers across The Children’s Society in the management of issues relating to protecting, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and vulnerable adults.

Although we are not a statutory child care organisation – the police, children’s social care and the NSPCC are the only agencies with statutory powers – our staff and volunteers have an obligation and responsibility to be aware of and report concerns related to protecting, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children and young people and vulnerable adults with whom we work.

What constitutes a child protection issue?

This is best answered by defining what constitutes the abuse of a child or young person under the age of 18:

  • Abuse is a deliberate act of ill-treatment that can harm or is likely to harm a child or young person’s safety, well-being and development. Abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional.
  • Neglect of a child or young person also constitutes abuse and can be defined as failing to provide or secure for a child or young person the basic needs of physical safety and well-being.

It is important to remember, however, that abuse may not necessarily fall easily into these categories if you are not an expert in the area of child protection.

What you can do

If you are an adult and suspect that a young person or adult needs protection or is at risk of abuse, contact the proper statutory authority:

If you are a young person in need of help

If you have an urgent problem to talk about, Childline can help. You can reach them online or call them on 0800 11 11.

At Childline, you can find someone who will listen to whatever you want to say, but will promise not to tell anyone else.

Learn more and take action