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Child protection and safeguarding

Child protection and safeguarding means protecting children from abuse, and identifying and stopping abuse that might already be happening.

Our safeguarding promise

Abuse of a child or young person under the age of 18 is defined as follows.

  • 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.

But remember that abuse may not fall easily into these categories. If you are in doubt, seek expert advice.

How do we safeguard children?

As a children’s charity, our top priority is the protection of children and young people. We are not a statutory child care organisation – the police, children’s social care and the NSPCC are the only agencies with statutory powers.

But our staff and volunteers have an obligation and responsibility to protect, safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people and vulnerable adults with whom we work.

By having strong safeguarding procedures and practice, we provide a safe place for children and young people to engage with us and the services we provide.

We want the public to have confidence our work. Ensuring safeguarding runs as a golden thread through all we do is part of building that confidence with the public.


  • We employ experienced workers who have a focus on preventing abuse of children and young people.
  • When we recruit staff and volunteers we follow safer recruitment processes.


  • All our staff and volunteers complete mandatory safeguarding induction training, regardless of whether they work directly with children and young people.
  • All staff who work directly with children and young people also receive regular update training.


  • We have a suite of safeguarding procedures, policies and guidance for all of our managers, staff and volunteers that ensures clear, robust action can be taken when required.

Young person and practitioner talking

young girl bag on lap talking to adult opposite her

If you are worried about a child

  • If you think a child, young person or adult with care and support needs is at risk, being abused or neglected, contact the social care team at their local council. You can find their contact details on the government website or on your local council's website.
  • If you have immediate concerns for the safety of yourself or others call 999.
  • If you have a safeguarding enquiry relating to one of our services,  please email our safeguarding team.
  • If you are a child or young person and have an urgent problem to talk about, Childline can help and will listen to whatever you want to say. You can reach them online or call them on 0800 1111. We also have advice if you think someone is abusing you.