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Safeguarding Children

Concerned about a child?

Most children enjoy a safe and happy childhood but for some this is not the case. Everyone has a responsibility to protect children from future harm; good childcare begins even before a child is born.
You can read more about what happens when you report an issue on the Staffordshire Safeguarding Children's Board page.

What is abuse and neglect?

Inflicting harm or not taking action to protect a child from harm. This can happen at home, by people living near their home (in their community) or by an adult who is responsible for caring for them such as from a school, nursery, college, sports and leisure centre, afterschool club and youth club. Sometimes children are abused by a stranger they have met over the Internet or by other children.

Physical abuse

  • Cuts, bruises, burns, scalds or broken bones, which have not happened by accident
  • Injuries as a result of shaking, or throwing in the case of babies
  • Deliberately inducing illness in a child

Emotional abuse

  • Making a child feel constantly worthless or unloved, frightened or in danger
  • Not giving a child opportunities to express their views
  • Deliberately silencing them or making ‘fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
  • Seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another
  • Bullying (including cyber bullying)
  • Causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger
  • Exploitation or corruption of children.

Sexual abuse

This is when a child is made or enticed to take part in or watch sexual activities including:

  • Being around when someone is watching pornographic material
  • Activities such as physical contact
  • Assault such as rape or non-penetrative acts such as kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing
  • Looking at, or the production of, sexual images
  • Encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, grooming a child
  • In most cases sexual abuse is carried out by a person who is known to the child - even a member of their own family.


A child may be left alone or left with unsuitable caregivers. They may not be fed or clothed properly, or not be taken to the doctors when they are unwell. Neglect also involves not protecting a child from danger.

For further information please see Staffordshire Safeguarding Children's Board

Last updated 27 May 2021

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