Public Information about Child Protection Issues
If you are concerned that a child is at risk of harm, contact Social Services:
Children's Central Advice, Referral and Assessment Team
Emergency Duty Team (outside normal office hours)
In an emergency, contact the Police on 01792 456999 or dial 999.
What is Child Abuse?
Some children living within their own families or communities experience inappropriate behaviour which can have an adverse effect on the child's wellbeing now and in the future. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. As well as children abused within their own families or communities, some children may also be abused in an institutional setting by someone known to them, or, more rarely, by a stranger. Abuse can take many forms, including
and can occur across all social groups. All adults have a responsibility to protect children.
The Children Act 1989 puts a legal obligation on Social Services to take action when any information comes in to say that any child may be in danger of being hurt or neglected.
What should I do if I am concerned a child may be being abused?
Contact the Children's Central Advice, Referral and Assessment Team
What Information Do I Need To Provide?
The more information you are able to provide, the easier it will be for Social Services staff to trace any existing records about the child. The child's full name, address and date of birth are the most useful information. If you do not know all of these, other information such as names of parents or siblings or the school the child attends might help. You will need to explain why you are concerned about the child, giving as much detail as you can.
You can provide the information anonymously if you wish, though it can be helpful to have your details in case the information given needs to be clarified during the course of enquiries. As a member of the public your identity would be kept confidential within the team(s) investigating your report.
What will happen next?
Enquiries must be made to find out what the facts are and to decide on whether a child is or may be suffering harm either physically or emotionally. Depending on the nature of the information received, it may be necessary to involve other agencies, such as the Police.
Professionally trained staff will talk to the family about their concerns and hear their views on the matter. They will also see and talk to the child(ren) involved and any other people who may have relevant information.
What will happen as a result of these enquiries?
What if I am mistaken and there is no evidence of abuse?
Sometimes enquiries show no significant areas of concern for the child and there is no need for any further action to be taken. However it is better to have a situation checked out and find all is well than to ignore possible warning signs and endanger a child.
Social Services and personal information
When you are in touch with Social Services, we will keep information about you in written records and computer files. We will keep this information confidential, except where we need to share it with people providing you with care, or to protect other people.
You have a right to ask to see records we keep about you.
Comments and complaints
We welcome any comments about our services - good or bad. If you are unhappy with the service you receive, we encourage you to make a complaint. For advice or information about making a complaint, please contact our Complaints Officers on 01792 637345.
Full details are given in the leaflet ' Making a comment, complaint or compliment about Social Services.'
Swansea Social Services - February 2009 v. 2