Safeguarding children: advice for family & friends
Safeguarding means keeping children and young people safe from harm and promoting their welfare.
Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. Every single person who encounters a child or or young person or his or her family has a role to play.
Through our work, the Manchester Safeguarding Boards aim to provide the parents, carers, family and friends of children and young people – as well as the general public and local businesses – with the information and advice they need to help us achieve our vision and also to know what to do if they are worried about a child or young person.
I am worried about a child or young person
If you have ANY concerns about possible abuse you should report them
If a child or young person is in immediate danger then dial 999 and ask for police assistance.
Someone is missing from home or care
What to do if you think someone is missing or has run away
Every situation is different and there are no set rules about when a child should be considered missing; however if you are concerned about a very young child you should contact the emergency services immediately.
For young people, if you have any doubts about whether to formally report them missing, for example, when a teenager fails to return home after a time they have agreed, contact the police. There is no time limit on when you can make a report. You don’t have to wait 24 hours.
If your child is missing or has run away from home, you must contact the Police.
Runaway Helpline has launched a website www.runawayhelpline.org.uk and a free 24/7 confidential helpline 116000. Please share the website with young people – there are lots of topics on the website about the problems and reasons that young people run away, to inform discussions and to help.
For more information see our Missing children resource.
Recognising the signs of abuse
By understanding the warning signs, you can respond to problems as early as possible. It is important to recognise that a warning sign doesn’t automatically mean a child is being abused. There are several signs of child abuse or neglect which people can look out for:
- Appearance – such as frequent unexplained injuries, constant poor hygiene, matted hair, unexplained gifts, or a parent regularly collecting children from school when drunk.
- Behaviour – such as demanding or aggressive behaviour, frequent lateness or absence from school, avoiding their own family, misusing drugs or alcohol, or being constantly tired.
- Communication – such as sexual or aggressive language, self-harming, becoming secretive and reluctant to share information or being overly obedient.
To find out more about government advice visit their website www.gov.uk/report-child-abuse
Contact the NSPCC if you want to discuss your concerns and get further advice: