Reporting a safeguarding concern
If you suspect that a child or young person is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed then you have a duty to report it immediately.
If you are ever concerned that a child is in immediate danger please call the police on 999.
Child abuse can have major long-term effects on all aspects of a child’s health and well-being. Children and young people are dependent on others for their survival and have a right to be protected and to have someone who will act on their behalf. If you are a member of the public you may first like to discuss your concerns with someone who works with children and families, such as your health visitor, social worker, school nurse or teacher (as all schools have a teacher responsible for child protection).
Please act promptly! It can be very difficult to investigate concerns if there is a delay, as some signs of abuse can disappear quite quickly.
If you are a practitioner that is concerned about a child, please discuss your concerns with your agencies safeguarding lead and follow the information on Contacting Duty and Advice in the Practitioner’s Guidance.
To report a concern if you are a member of the public:
During office hours you can call Children’s Social Work Services on 0113 222 4403 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm). You can also discuss your concerns with someone who works with children and families, e.g. your health visitor, social worker, school nurse or teacher (all schools have a teacher responsible for child protection).
Out of office hours
If you think a child is in immediate danger please call the police on 999
To report a concern if you work with children or young people (either paid or unpaid):
During office hours call the Duty and Advice team on 0113 376 0336 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).
Out of office hours
If the issue can’t wait until the next working day please contact the Children’s Emergency Duty Team on 0113 376 0469 and provide us with as much information as possible. You can also email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Enquiries needing an immediate response:
- When it is felt a child or young person is at immediate risk of harm
- When a child protection investigation is needed (because of physical sexual and emotional abuse or chronic neglect)
- When a child or young person needs an immediate mental health assessment
Enquiries which can wait until the next working day
- When a professional or practitioner would like to make contact with Children’s Social Work Service to have a conversation about a concern they have for a child that might lead to a referral – but the child or young person is not at immediate risk of harm
- When a professional or practitioner would like to pass on a message to a social worker or other social work practitioner
- Any issues around contact arrangements between children and their parents
- Where one parent has been taken to hospital but the other parent or family members are caring appropriately for the child
Who to talk to if you are a child
If you have been hurt by anybody, or an adult or another young person has done something that makes you feel upset or scared, it is important that you tell somebody so that you can get the support and protection you need.
You can contact Children’s Social Work Services on 0113 222 4403 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm), you don’t need to a give your name if you don’t want to. Or you can speak to someone at Childline on 0800 1111 (calls are free and confidential), or through their website.