We all play a key role in protecting children and young people from abuse and neglect but many people don’t act because they fear they might be wrong. You don’t have to be absolutely certain to make a report. We gather information from many sources, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you suspect a child or a young person is being abused, use the ‘ABC’ approach to watch for the tell-tale signs:
- Appearance: unusual injuries, or consistently poor hygiene
- Behaviour: being withdrawn, overly anxious, disruptive or self-harming
- Communication: talking aggressively, using sexualised language or becoming secretive.
“An important part of my role is make children’s lives safer. Health professionals, teachers and social work practitioners are skilled in identifying abuse and neglect but it’s not just up to them. Please report anything you suspect being not quite right. The welfare of a child could depend upon it,’’ said Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for children’s services.
Your concerns can be reported to our Social Care team on (0118) 908 8002 or our partner agencies the NSPCC or Thames Valley Police. If the child is in immediate risk always call 999, or you think a crime has been committed, call 101. The information you provide is invaluable and could be the missing puzzle piece.
And remember, if you think it, report it.