You may know them, or they could be a stranger. You may be a child or a vulnerable adult who is being abused or worried about a friend's safety.
Sometimes it is the situations children or vulnerable adults live in that can be harmful to them, for example living with parents or carers who misuse drugs/alcohol, or are involved in domestic violence.
"My mum and dad both have drinking problems. Sometimes there's nothing to eat in the house. And I'm often left alone to look after my brothers and sisters."
If you have concerns about a child's or vulnerable adult's safety there are people who will listen to you. Protecting children and vulnerable adults is everybody's business. Please do something. YOU can make a difference.
Where can I go to for help if I am worried?
If you are worried by something you feel may be abusive behaviour but you are not sure, you can get advice on what needs to happen from someone who works with children or vulnerable adults such as your doctor. You may also want to tell a friend or family member first to support you.
You can also discuss your concerns with:
Social Care - formerly called Social Services, or the Police
What do I do if I think a child or vulnerable adult is in immediate danger?
Phone 999 immediately and/or call your local Social Care.
Do I have to give my name?
No, but it can help if the person you are talking to knows your relationship to the person you are referring. It is better to tell someone you are concerned and not give your name than to remain silent.
What happens next?
Urgent action will be taken if the child or vulnerable adult is thought to be in immediate danger
If they are not in immediate danger: Social Care will gather information to decide what needs to happen
Could a child be removed?
A child would only be removed if it was not safe for them to remain at home and there is no other way to ensure their safety. This rarely happens and most children remain with their family or close relatives.
Keeping children and vulnerable adults safe is everybody's responsibility. It is better to be safe than sorry. If you are concerned about a child or vulnerable adult please ring:
0300 500 80 80 or Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team 0300 456 45 46