We all have a responsibility to make sure children and young people are safe from harm or abuse. If you have any suspicion, or information, suggesting a child is being harmed, don't ignore it.
What should I do if I think a child or young person is being harmed?
You can always ask for advice if you are not sure about a situation.
The information below may help if you think a child or young person is being harmed.
Signs which may suggest physical abuse
- Any bruising to a baby - pre-walking stage
- Multiple bruising to different parts of the body
- Bruising of different colours, showing repeated injuries
- Fingertip-shaped bruising to the chest, back, arms or legs
- Burns of any shape or size
- An injury for which there is no proper explanation
Signs of possible sexual abuse
- Something a child has told you
- Something a child has told someone else
- A child who shows worrying sexualised behaviour in their play or with other children
- A child who seems to have unsuitable sexual knowledge for their age
- A child who may be visiting or being looked after by a known or suspected sexual offender
Signs which may suggest emotional harm
The following signs may be present in children whose parents are over-critical and emotionally distant, or who are unable to meet their child's emotional needs:
- Children whose behaviour is excessive. For example, excessive bedwetting, overeating, rocking, headbanging.
- Children who self harm. For example, they may cut or scratch themselves or overdose.
- Children who attempt suicide
- Children who persistently run away from home
- Children who show high levels of anxiety, unhappiness or withdrawal
- Children who usually seek out or avoid affection.
Signs which may suggest neglect
- Squalid, unhygienic or dangerous home conditions
- Parents who fail to attend to their children's health or development needs
- Children who appear persistently undersized or underweight
- Children who continually appear tired or lacking in energy
- Children who suffer frequent injuries due to lack of supervision.
How do I contact someone if I am concerned about a child or young person?
If you wish to report a matter to the police, call 101 and state your concerns.
If you wish to report an emergency matter always dial 999.
Social worker (out of office hours): 024 7683 2222.
If there is no immediate danger or you need advice or information, you should call the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub on 024 7678 8555.
If you want to discuss your concerns or need advice e.g. if you are not sure whether your concerns are justified, you would like more information about issues like confidentiality or you would like to know what happens next (after you have reported your concerns), do one of the following:
- Call Childline on 0800 1111
- Call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000
- Check Coventry CSCP procedures
To make a referral, please complete the multi-agency referral form.
Prevent referrals for children and young people
The Prevent Duty requires that if there are concerns that an individual may be vulnerable to radicalisation around violent extremism then these concerns need to be shared so that appropriate support is provided in order to safeguard those individuals. A partnership referral form has been prepared to make sure that it is easier to outline and submit the referrals.
To make a Prevent referral for a child or young person a referral form needs to be completed.
Right Help Right Time
Coventry Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP) has produced new Right Help Right Time Guidance. The guidance helps practitioners to understand and assess risk consistently and appropriately so that children and families can receive the right help at the right time. It will help professionals to identify the support that a child, young person or family might need and how best this support can be provided. It replaces all previous threshold guidance or levels of need documents.