Safeguarding Children and Young People Worcestershire

You may be concerned about a child or young person. You may or may not know them, or even their name.

Don’t assume that someone else will take responsibility and make that phone call. You could help to save a child’s life. If you are worried, report
it.

If the child or young person is in immediate danger call 999

If there is no emergency but you think a crime may have been committed:

Telephone: West Mercia Police 101

You can also email the police to inform them of concerns and start a conversation with them at contactus@westmercia.police.uk

The Family Front Door, Initial Contact and Referral Team is the central point for all referrals for children and young people aged 0 to 18 years and living in Worcestershire where there is safeguarding or child protection concerns for them.

This team receives referrals from professionals, members of the community, family members, children and young people directly. Please contact the Family Front Door directly telephone 01905 822666.

Safeguarding children and young people is the action that is taken to promote their welfare and protect them from harm. It is important because every child and young person has a right to equal protection from abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Safeguarding also helps children and young people to grow up in a safe and caring environment and to achieve the best outcomes in life.

If you are worried that a young person is being exploited or abused, here are some key points to know:

  • Exploitation and abuse can take many forms, such as physical, psychological, financial, sexual, or criminal.
  • Exploitation and abuse can happen anywhere, such as at home, in a care setting, in a public place, or online.
  • The person causing the harm may be someone the young person knows and trusts, such as a family member, a friend, a carer, or a professional. They may also be a stranger or someone who targets vulnerable young people for criminal purposes, such as gangs or traffickers.
  • A young person may be at risk of harm if they have a disability, an illness, a mental health issue, or any other condition that makes them dependent on others or unable to protect themselves.
  • Signs of exploitation and abuse may include injuries, bruises, burns, changes in behaviour, mood, or appearance, isolation, fear, anxiety, or depression.

If you suspect that a young person is being exploited or abused, you should report your concerns to the local authority’s children’s social care team or the police. You can also contact other organisations that provide support and advice for young people, such as NSPCCChildline and Barnardo’s.

You should not ignore or dismiss any signs of exploitation and abuse, as they may have serious and lasting consequences for the young person’s health, wellbeing, and safety.

You should not confront the person causing the harm, as this may put you or the young person at risk of further harm.

You should not promise to keep the young person’s situation a secret, as this may prevent them from getting the help they need. You should explain to the young person that you are concerned about them and that you want to help them by contacting the appropriate authorities or services.