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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:
- What constitutes a child protection issue
- If you are an adult, what you can do if you suspect a child needs protection
- If you are a young person, what you can do if you are in need of help
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.
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.
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:
- Your local authority’s children’s social care (find your local authority contact information on Directgov)
- Your local police
- The NSPCC’s helpline, which you can reach at 0808 800 5000 or via their website. The helpline can also be reached via text or email, and offers services to people with a disability and speakers of languages other than English.
At Childline, you can find someone who will listen to whatever you want to say, but will promise not to tell anyone else.