Report child abuse
- What is child abuse
- How to respond to a child who tells you about abuse
If a child starts talking to you about abuse, neglect or mistreatment they are suffering:
- listen calmly and reassuringly
- let them freely recall what is important to them
- don’t give them the impression you don’t believe them. Whether you believe them or not isn’t the issue
- once you have decided to report it, do not ask further questions. Let professionals take over from here
- make a note of the discussion, when and where it happened, who was present and what the child said
Remember you may be the first person the child has ever spoken to. Take any disclosure seriously and report it no matter how unlikely it might seem.
- What to do if you think a child is being abused
If you have any concerns because you think that a child is being abused or has been abused in the past, and you want someone to find out what is going on, contact the Children’s Services Department.
Hampshire Children Services
Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm
Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm, phone 0300 555 1384
At all other times, contact the out-of-hours service, phone 0300 555 1373
Professionals should complete the Inter Agency Referral Form (IARF) to report child welfare and safeguarding concerns.If you think a child or young person under the age of 18 has been or is being abused by a person in a position of trust, contact the County Council's Allegations Officer
- What happens next
The person reporting the case will be asked to provide written details
The Children’s Services Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (Mash) will look at the case.
We will investigate and look at the needs of the child. We will then formulate and lead on a plan of support for the child. In most cases a social worker will visit the child and their family, sometimes accompanied by the police
If a child seems to be at risk of injury, abuse or neglect a Child Protection Conference takes place. This is a meeting to discuss what has been happening and decide what needs to be done to support the child. The conference is usually held in the nearest Children’s Services office.By law, we have to look into every case that is brought to our notice (under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989)
- Why the child may still live with its parents after the abuse is reported
It's unlikely that reporting a concern will immediately lead to a child being removed from their home.
Every effort is made to keep families together. This includes contacting the wider family to provide a network of support to the whole family. The child may stay at home under the Children’s Services multi-agency support plan.
If a child is taken away from the family home, the time is used for further investigations and where appropriate to provide additional support and guidance to the family. After this time, the child may be returned to their family. Continued multi-agency support will be provided by Children’s Services.
- Will I be involved in any further action
You may be asked for more information, but this may not be necessary. it will depend on the individual situation. Practitioners, such as teachers, health staff and the police who report a suspected abuse case will normally be involved in further enquiries.
Due to confidentiality, we can't discuss actions taken. If you still have concerns about a child please report them to Children's Services again.
- Further information and support
There are a range of agencies you can contact for advice and support:
- Hampshire Police - for non emergencies phone 101
- NSPCC - phone 0808 800 5000
- Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously with any information about crime - phone 0800 555 111
- Childline - phone 0800 1111
- Local Safeguarding Children’s Board
- Hampshire Children’s Services - phone 0300 555 1384
Sources of post abuse support