What should I do if I have concerns about a child's welfare?

Children can be abused physically, sexually, emotionally or through neglect. The concerns that you have may make up part of a bigger picture which could help to prevent serious harm to a child. Giving families help at an early stage can prevent abuse and neglect.
 
No one wants to hear about children being abused, neglected or unsafe and that sometimes makes it difficult to respond so...

Remember these three important messages:

1. ALL CHILDREN HAVE A RIGHT TO BE SAFE NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE OR WHAT THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES.
 
2. KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY.
 
3. WE ALL NEED TO LISTEN TO CHILDREN EVEN THOUGH WE MAY NOT ALWAYS BE COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT WE HEAR.

 

Who should I talk to if I have concerns about a child?

Name: Chris Wathern

Role: Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

Phone: 01726 832542

or

Name: Maria Barnes

Role: Deputy DSL

Phone: 01726 832542

If these contact people are not available do not delay but contact one of the numbers below:

Emergency Services

999

Devon and Cornwall Police

101

Cornwall Children’s Social Care Multi-Agency

Referral Unit (MARU)

 0300 1231 116

Cornwall Children’s Social Care - out of hours

 01208 251300

Isles of Scilly Children’s Social Care

 01720 424354

Isles of Scilly Children’s Social Care - out of hours

 01720 422699

 

Remember:

  • It doesn’t matter if you are a paid worker, a volunteer or a member of the community, you have a responsibility to act if you are worried about a child.
  • Each agency will have someone who has a responsibility for child protection and safeguarding issues - they have had training to know what to do next.
  • It is not your responsibility to investigate child abuse but you should tell the appropriate person within your organisation. It will be this person’s job to decide whether to pass your concerns on. If necessary they will speak to Children’s Social Care or the police. The police and social workers can then decide whether they need to investigate your concerns.

 

Other sources of information

South West Child Protection Procedures www.swcpp.org.uk

Local Safeguarding Children Board Website www.safechildren-cios.co.uk