Child abuse is the maltreatment of a child. It can include:
- Inflicting harm
- Failing to act to prevent harm
- Persistent failure to meet a child’s basic needs
It can happen to any child.
Latest facts and statistics
Over 2,000 children in England were identified as needing protection from sexual abuse in 2017/18
Children with disabilities are more likely to be abused than those without. Neglect and emotional abuse were the most common reasons for a child protection plan in England in 2017/18 Childline provided over 22,100 counselling sessions in 2017/18 where the main concern was abuse
4 main types of child abuse
- Physical abuse: causing physical harm to a child
- Sexual abuse: forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities
- Neglect: persistent failure (of a parent or carer) to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to seriously impair their health or development
- Emotional abuse: persistent emotional maltreatment of a child that severely affects their emotional development
Signs and indicators of abuse
● You’re more likely to identify abuse from behavioural and/or physical signs, than from a disclosure
● Warning signs can vary from child to child.
Specific safeguarding issues
Your duty to refer Always pass on information to our DSL or deputy, and always act in the child’s best interests.
● You might provide the missing piece of the puzzle.
● Withholding information stops action from being taken, and could mean a child continues to be abused.
● The best interests of the child will be at the centre of all decision-making.
● Consider the context within which safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours occur.
What to do if you have a concern
Follow our policy:
● Speak to our DSL or deputy immediately
● If they aren’t available, speak to someone from the SLT
● Record any concerns using child protection form ● Information about local early help procedures
If a child is in immediate danger
● Where a child is suffering from harm, likely to suffer from harm, or is in immediate danger:
● Tell our DSL or deputy as soon as possible; and
● Contact children’s social care (and the police, if appropriate) immediately.
● Anyone can make a referral – don’t delay just to wait for our DSL, but notify the DSL as soon as possible afterwards