ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT A
All enquiries about a child/family should be made to:
Telephone: 01253 477299
Fax: 01253 477009
Duty and Assessment Team
Blackpool Football Stadium
Safeguarding all children from harm is everyone's business.
Most children enjoy generally safe and happy childhood experiences within their own family but unfortunately for some, this is not the case. During difficult family times everyone has a responsibility to protect children from future harm; good child care begins even before a child is born.
What is abuse and neglect?
Abuse and neglect are forms of ill-treatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by not taking action to protect a child from harm. Children may be harmed at home, by people living near their home (in their community) or by an adult who is responsible for caring for them in any place away from home such as school, college, sports and leisure centres, after-school clubs, youth clubs, which it is really important to work together to keep you safe. Sometimes children are abused by a stranger they have met over the internet.
One in ten adults will have experienced harm during their childhood. Here are some examples of abuse and neglect:
This could be any physical injury like cuts, bruises, burns, scalds or broken bones that have not happened by accident. Injuries may be caused as a result of shaking in the case of babies. It can also be when someone deliberately induces illness in a child.
This may involve making a child feel constantly worthless or unloved, frightened or in danger. It may involve serious bullying seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.
This is when a child is made to take part in or watch sexual activities: they may be around when someone is watching pornographic material. In most cases sexual abuse is carried out by a person who is known to the child - even a member of their own family.
A child may be left alone or left with unsuitable caregivers. They may not be fed or clothed properly or not be taken to the doctors when they are unwell. Neglect also involves not protecting a child from danger.
What should I do if I think that a child is being harmed?
Telephone Blackpool Children's Social Care or the Police straight away - they will listen.
*In an emergency always call 999*
Do I have to give my name?
No - it is your choice; if you decide that you want to remain anonymous that decision will be respected. (Professionals making a referral should be aware that they cannot be guaranteed anonymity.)
What happens next?
Social workers will follow up every report where they believe a child may be at risk of harm. They will talk to other people who know the child and may be able to provide a clearer picture. This includes teachers, health visitors and members of the child's family.
After this several things could happen:
- No further action will be taken.
- Help and support will be offered to the family.
- An investigation will take place.
Are children taken away from home?
Very rarely - social workers cannot remove a child from their family without the permission of the court. This only happens when there are real concerns that the child will not be safe at home, and then consideration is always given to the child being looked after by a relative or a friend.
Will I be told what has happened?
You should receive written confirmation that your referral has been received and acted upon unless your report was anonymous.