We all have a duty to keep children and young people safe, healthy and happy. At Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, we put the welfare of the family at the centre of our standards of care and our ThinkFamily policy aims to capitalise on every opportunity to understand when children and young people particularly may need our help or that of other agencies. It is sometimes difficult to know what to do when you have concerns about a child or a family, so please read the following information for help and advice.
Professionals rely on people to help alert them that children and young people might be suffering harm, abuse or in need of support. We aim to support families that would benefit from extra help with parenting their children so that children and young people are not put at further risk. Everyone can help by being aware of children and young people around them and alerting services of even the smallest concerns.
What to do if you are worried about a child
There are a number of things you can do if you are worried a child or young person may be suffering, or at risk of suffering harm.
- Call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 - adults who are concerned about a child can speak to a trained child protection officer for advice about what to do (you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice).
- If you are a child or young person, you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111 to talk about any problem - counsellors are always there to help you sort it out. It is free and confidential.
- Speak to your (or the child’s) GP, health visitor, school nurse or other health professional so that you can share your early concerns. You could also speak to the child’s teacher. All professionals have guidelines on how to act when children and young people are at risk. They will be able to advise you on what to do next.
- Telephone Derby Children’s Social Care (Social Services) on 01332 786968 (Out of Hours) / Derbyshire Children's Social Care (Social Services) on 08456 058 058 and ask to talk to someone about your worries.
- Contact the Police on 0345 123 3333.
- If you think a child or young person is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.
All concerns about children and young people are taken very seriously - do not worry that your concerns will be dismissed or ignored. You could help to end a child’s suffering by your actions.
Further information including safeguarding procedures can be found at: Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board 01629 532169 or Derby Safeguarding Children Board 01332 717811.