It's everyone’s responsibility to protect children. If you think a child is being harmed or is at risk of harm, it’s important that you tell us so we can help. Your actions may help us keep a child safe from harm.

If you’re worried about a child, please tell us.

All children and young people have the right to be protected and to be kept safe from harm caused by others. Most children within our communities will grow up in a safe and loving environment.

However, some do not. These children may need extra help from adults to make sure that they are kept safe.

The best way to make sure the child you’re worried about gets the help they need quickly is to phone us. You can call us on:

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm:
01324 506400
All other times:
01786 470500

If it's an emergency, always dial

999

You can also contact Police Scotland when it's not an emergency on:

101


What might make you concerned

Children can't always tell us they are unhappy or are being harmed. There may be signs that worry you and these may indicate that a child is being neglected or abused. Or an adult may be acting in a way that concerns you. Please take action if you notice the signs.

Signs that a child or young person may be at harm

You may notice one or a combination of the following signs. A child or young person you know may:

  • have unexplained bruising, or bruising in an unexpected place
  • appear quiet, withdrawn, or afraid to tell you something that sounds as if they have been hurt by someone
  • be afraid to go home
  • appear constantly hungry, tired or untidy
  • be left unattended or unsupervised
  • have too much responsibility for their age
  • be acting in a sexually inappropriate way
  • be misusing drugs or alcohol

Signs that an adult may be harming a child

Sometimes, it's the behaviour of the child’s parents or carers or another adult that concerns you. The adult may:

  • be acting in an aggressive, violent or sexual manner towards a child or young person
  • be misusing drink or drugs while caring for a child
  • leave their child unattended or with people who are unsuitable

These are just some of the ways that adults can harm children. You may have other concerns. It may be a one-off incident or a combination of things that happen over a period of time that worry you.

If you are worried, talk to us. We will take your concern seriously.

We'll treat any information about you sensitively. We'll not reveal any details, including your name, unless the child's safety requires us to.

We can still make enquiries into the child's welfare even if you don't give us your name. However, please be aware that this can make it more difficult for those looking into your concerns.

We may need to share any information you give with other professionals to make sure we take the right action to keep the child you're concerned about safe.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What information should I tell you?
  2. What happens once I've told you my concerns?
  3. What action can you take?
  4. What if it turns out my worries have no basis?
  5. Will I find out what happens to the person I'm concerned about?
  6. What should I do if I'm being harmed or at risk of harm?

What information should I tell you?

It will help us to decide what to do next if you can:

  • give us as much information as you can about the person you're worried about and their family or carers
  • describe what it is that concerns you
  • tell us anything else that we should be aware of, for example other children in the family or if the adult lives alone

The best way to make sure the person you're worried about gets the help they need quickly is to phone us:

01324 506400

What happens once I've told you my concerns?

We'll always take your concern seriously.

If the person is at serious risk, we'll take immediate action.

We'll gather more information from others who may know the person. This will help us to assess the level of risk and how best to respond.

If the person you're worried about is an adult, we'll need to contact them directly. We'll do this sensitively and, if we can, involve someone they trust.

The best way to make sure the person you're worried about gets the help they need quickly is to phone us:

01324 506400

What action can you take?

We can provide advice, support and help to the family or the person who is at risk of harm.

We may carry out a police and social work investigation into the concerns.

We can provide services such as help with childcare, home care, carer support or, if necessary, ask another agency to provide this help.

We'll record your concern after an initial assessment but may take no further action at the time. Your information might help us to build up a picture of the person if further concerns are raised later.

The best way to make sure the person you're worried about gets the help they need quickly is to phone us:

01324 506400

What if it turns out my worries have no basis?

It's OK. You were worried and we checked it out. You had the person's best interests uppermost when you contacted us.

Your information may still be important at a later date.

If you continue to be worried about the person, or have a new concern, please contact us again.

The best way to make sure the person you're worried about gets the help they need quickly is to phone us:

01324 506400

Will I find out what happens to the person I'm concerned about?

We'll take any necessary action to keep the person safe. However, we won't be able to tell you the actions we might take because of the person's right to confidentiality. 


What should I do if I'm being harmed or at risk of harm?

If you are being harmed or think you are at risk of harm, you must do something about it.

You can tell us or someone you trust. It's important that you know there are people who can help you now. 

You could be a child, young person, adult or older person. Remember, you have a right to be protected and kept safe from harm caused by others.