Child abuse is any form of action by another person, child or adult, which causes significant harm to a child. Child abuse can take form physically, emotionally, sexually or could be that a child may experience a lack of love and care resulting in neglect. According to the NSPCC, an abused child may experience more than one type of abuse and may face other difficulties and hardship throughout their life. NSPCC estimate that over half a million children are abused in the UK each year.
DfE Child protection campaign: Together, we can tackle child abuse
If you think a child is being abused or you think their safety is at risk, then it is important to tell someone. You don’t have to be absolutely certain about whether a child is being abused; if you have a feeling that something’s not right, talk to your local children’s social care team who can look into it.
Visit gov.uk/reportchildabuse to get the number for your local authority. The promotional materials can be downloaded here.
NICE has produced an inter-active flowchart for health and social care practitioners responding to abuse and neglect, which is here. This goes with current statutory guidance.