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What do I do if a child tells me they are being harmed?

  • If a child wants to talk to you, give him or her time and space; listen to them carefully - and in private if possible. Don't try and investigate yourself; don't question the child at length, or put words in their mouth. Reassure the child, and tell them that they are not to blame in any way.
  • Write down exactly what you have seen or heard; use the child's own words. Write down what you said to them as well.
  • Make it clear to the child that you will only be sharing the information they gave you with someone who can help them: don't promise to keep a secret  - that might not be possible.
  • If you work with children, contact your line manager immediately. If you don't, contact Children's Services.

What happens after I make a report?

You can ask that your name is not given to the family you are worried about, and this will be respected. You should also be told later whether your call has been followed up - you probably cannot be given any other details, as these will be confidential.

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