Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding children means:

  • protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child. (NSPCC)

What types of abuse are there?


Included in the above categories are:

Signs of child abuse

Some common signs that there may be something concerning happening in a child’s life include:

  • Unexplained changes in behaviour or personality
  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Seeming anxious
  • Becoming uncharacteristically aggressive
  • Lacks social skills and has few friends, if any
  • Poor bond or relationship with a parent
  • Knowledge of adult issues inappropriate for their age
  • Running away or going missing
  • Always choosing to wear clothes which cover their body
  • Unexplained bruising/ injury

These signs don’t necessarily mean that a child is being abused, there could be other things happening in their life which are affecting their behaviour.

You may also notice some concerning behaviour from adults who you know have children in their care, or who may be volunteering/ helping during this period of self- isolating, which makes you concerned for the child/children’s safety and wellbeing. Please do not ignore this.

If you are concern about the wellbeing of a child, please inform it direct to social care services or the police 999 without delay. Please access here to find contact details to organisations that can help. Please download here an example of Safeguarding Record Sheet. 

What should I do if I suspect someone is being abused?

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