Should you mind your own business?
All parents experience difficulties at times that can be helped by other family members or close friends.
If someone you know is having difficulties, you could offer the following,:
- A listening ear
- Ideas to cope with problems
- Encouragement to get some help
- Practical Support (childcare/shopping).
However there may be times when a child may be at risk of significant harm and professional support needs to be provided.
How would you want other people to act if your child was being harmed?
- Would you want them to mind their own business?
- To report their worry to a professional that could help?
When we suspect, witness or are told of a child being hurt we can react in many different ways. We may feel guilt, anger, disbelief or denial. Some of these reactions can prevent help getting to a family who need it.
Many people do not tell because they fear the following:
- Children will be at further risk of harm
- They believe that nothing will be done
- They believe that the child would be taken away
- They worry that the family may find out who reported them
- Telling may ruin family relationships
In reality, it is best that action is taken early to stop things getting worse. Long-term abuse is much more likely to cause problems for a child as they get older. Even if you think an incident is just a one off, other professional agencies may already have concerns about the child. So your information could be very important.
You can discuss your concerns in confidence by telephoning the Children in Need Duty Team, or the police. Whilst we will make a record of your call, if you explain that you do not want to be identified, we will promise to respect your request.
- Protecting children is everybody’s business
- Adults have a responsibility to report abuse
- Consider offering some support if you are worried
- If in doubt share your concerns about children
- Reporting concerns rarely leads to a child being removed
- Act now – long term abuse is damaging for children
At a Glance:
There are many possible signs of abuse, ranging from physical injury to changes in behaviour. Alternatively you may witness an incident or the child may tell you that he/she is being harmed.
If you think that a child has been harmed, contact the Children in Need Duty Team, or the Police. If you are not sure, you can speak to a confidential helpline, at the NSPCC
What to Say
Explain exactly what you have seen or been told. If you can, keep a note of dates, injuries and the exact words used. These will help you.
Make sure your child knows who they can share worries with if and when they need to. Listen carefully to children and be alert to changes in them.
- Wigan Children’s in Need Duty Team to report for discuss concerns 01942 828300
- Police 0161 8725050 or 999 in an emergency
- Parentline Plus 0808 8002 222
- NSPCC 0808 8005 000