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Council Services:

Child Abuse

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and in particular protecting them from significant harm, depends on effective joint working between agencies and professionals that have different roles and expertise.

Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention. We know that neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child as physical abuse. All professionals and volunteers should be alert to potential signs of abuse or neglect

Physical - Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.

Sexual - A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn’t have to be physical contact, and it can happen online

Emotional - Children who are emotionally abused suffer emotional maltreatment or neglect. It’s sometimes called psychological abuse and can cause children serious harm.

Neglect - Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs. It’s dangerous and children can suffer serious and long-term harm.

On line abuse - Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the web, whether through social networks, playing online games or using mobile phones. 

Sexual Exploitation - Child sexual exploitation is a type of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status.

Female genital mutilation - Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. 

Bullying and cyberbullying - Bullying can happen anywhere – at school, at home or online. It’s usually repeated over a long period of time and can hurt a child both physically and emotionally.

Domestic abuse - Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships. 

Child trafficking - Child trafficking is a type of abuse where children are recruited, moved or transported and then exploited, forced to work or sold. 

Grooming - Children and young people can be groomed online or in the real world, by a stranger or by someone they know - for example a family member, friend or professional. 

Harmful sexual behaviour - Children and young people who develop harmful sexual behaviour harm themselves and others.

Safeguarding and promoting welfare is everyone’s responsibility!

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and in particular protecting them from significant harm, depends on effective joint working between agencies and professionals that have different roles and expertise. Individual children, especially some of the most vulnerable children and those at greatest risk of suffering harm and social exclusion, will need co-ordinated help from health, education, early years, children’s social care, the voluntary sector and other agencies.

We all have a statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.

‘No single professional can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances and, if children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.’ - Working Together 2015

Information sharing

Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.

Information Sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (2015) supports frontline practitioners, working in child or adult services, who have to make decisions about sharing personal information on a case by case basis.

Reporting a concern

If you think a child or young person is being abused or mistreated or you have concerns about the safety or welfare of a child, you must speak to someone immediately.

Training available for all professionals and volunteers

Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board offer an e-learning module and face-to-face training on child abuse and neglect. To access either of the courses, please register or log into the Learner Management System

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Last updated: 2 June 2017

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