If you are concerned about a child
This guidance sets out what to do if you are concerned that a child may be being abused, or if a child tells you that they or another child is being abused.
If a child is in immediate danger or needs emergency medical attention, call the emergency services and stay with the child until they arrive. Speak to the emergency services about whether it is appropriate to contact the child’s parents. Contact YAC HQ to let them know what is happening. Ask to speak to Mike Heyworth on 01904 671 417. If it’s out of office hours then call Mike on 07793 817 510.
Once any immediate danger or medical need has been dealt with, follow these steps:
- Make a note of your concerns or of what you have been told. Use our Safeguarding Referral Form. However you record your concerns, make sure that you sign and date them.
- Telephone Mike on the numbers above to talk it through and get guidance on the next steps.
Remember that it is not your responsibility to investigate any possible case of child abuse. Following your discussions, Mike will decide whether the concern needs to be referred to the relevant local statutory authorities (for example, the police). If he decides that is the case, he will do so within 24 hours. He will keep you informed of this process.
What should I say to a child who tells me they or another child is being abused?
Children very rarely make up allegations of abuse. If a child tells you that they or another child is being abused, you must take the information at face value, and you must pass it on.
- Reassure the child that they have done the right thing by telling someone.
- Tell them that now you have to do what you can to keep them (or the child who is the subject of the allegation) safe.
- Let them know what you are going to do next and who else needs to know about it.
- Let them tell their whole story. Don’t try to investigate or quiz the child, but make sure you understand what they are saying.
- Check what the child would like to happen as a result of what they have said, but don’t make or imply any promises you can’t keep.
- Give the child the ChildLine telephone number 0800 11 11.
This guidance is taken from the Council for British Archaeology’s Child protection policy and procedures. For more information contact YAC HQ on firstname.lastname@example.org.