What to do if you are worried about a child’s safety

If you are worried that a child or young person is at risk of abuse or neglect, please contact children’s services straight away. You should report your concerns even if the person you suspect of abusing or neglecting a child is your partner, a member of your family or someone you know well. Contact Croydon Children’s Services on 0208 726 6400 (24 hours)

If you think a child is at risk of immediate harm, please contact the Police by dialling 999.

There are different types of abuse and neglect and a child may experience more than one type. These are:

  • Emotional abuse: when parents or carers fail to show their children sufficient love and attention, or when they threaten, taunt or belittle them
  • Physical abuse: when parents, carers or other adults deliberately injure a child, or do not protect the child from injury
  • Sexual abuse: when an adult, young person or older child involves a child in sexual activity to which the child cannot consent because of his or her age or understanding
  • Persistent or severe neglect: when parents or carers fail to meet a child’s essential needs, or when children are left without proper supervision, leaving them unsafe or unprotected.

From whom are children at risk?

It’s not only family members or family friends who pose a risk to children.

Most people who care for children in schools, play groups, children’s homes and hospitals are attracted to the work for all the right reasons and offer care in a safe and professional manner. Unfortunately, we know from experience that in spite of careful checking, including police records, work references and formal interviews, some staff are attracted to these forms of work because they provide opportunities to exploit children.

If you report any suspicions about such staff they will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.

Why should I become involved?

Each year children die as a result of abuse or neglect by those who are supposed to be looking after them. In some cases, these children might have been saved if professional agencies had become involved earlier.

Adult survivors of abuse and neglect often relate how desperate they were for someone to intervene to stop their suffering when they were children. Also, the majority of parents who are struggling to cope with their children would value support, though they do not always feel able to make such a request.

For these reasons, it is vitally important that suspicions of abuse and neglect are reported to the proper agencies. Safeguarding and protecting children and young people is everybody’s responsibility.

Contact Details for Child Protection 

Department of Children, Families and Learning

Telephone: 0208 726 6400 (24 hours)

Email: childreferrals@croydon.gov.uk


Self Harming

Unfortunately more children are resorting to self-harm as a response to the pressures of growing up. With 60% of parents reporting they feel uncomfortable discussing self-harm with their children, thousands of children could be suffering in silence.

To help parents Virtual College are launching a completely free online course next week that provides information on how to sensitively talk to your children about self-harm and tactics for increasing mental resilience.

Before then, take a look at our free resource pack that includes information and statistics about parental communication and self-harm.

Get your free Self-harm awareness resource pack (below)- Understanding Young Minds:

After clicking on the link, please click on the image to open the full document.

Understanding Young Minds – Infographic

Understanding Young Minds – Poster

NHS South London
Met Police
NHS Croydon Health Services
NHS Croydon Clinical
Safer London