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Report a concern about a child or young person

What to do and who to contact if you have concerns about a child or young person

If you have immediate concerns about a child's safety, please contact the police:

For emergencies, call 999.
For non-emergencies, call 101.

The police are the only agency that are able to act immediately to ensure a child is safe and protected from harm.

Members of the public and professionals who are worried about a child, or think that a child is at risk of being harmed or abused, should contact the Contact Advice and Assessment Service (CAAS) during office hours (between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 8:30am to 4:30pm on Friday), using the details below:

If you have concerns outside of office hours, please contact the Emergency Duty Service on 01344 351 999, where you will be able to discuss your concerns with a social worker.

What happens when you contact us

If you are worried about a child, or children, who appear to be at risk, neglected, ill treated or not thriving, we have a statutory duty to clarify the situation and safeguard children if necessary.

We need as much information from you as possible about the children, family and why you are concerned. We may contact the parents to find out if there are any particular problems and visit the home to speak to the child or children. In such situations, we will often wish to talk to the child's school or health visitor and GP, or any other professional who has information about the family.

Usually, what is most helpful for children is to support the family so they can stay together. However, in certain circumstances, the law allows us to take action to protect a child from abuse or neglect. This may involve calling a Child Protection Conference to consider whether a child needs to have a child protection plan.

In exceptional circumstances, the need to protect a child may include removing them from their home for a short period of time, or until the problems at home have been sorted out. This step can only be taken by Children and Family Services with the prior consent of a court or with the agreement of the parents.

You can find out more about what happens when you contact us on our 'What to Expect' page, here.

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