Information for adults worried about a child or young person
Do you need help?
If you know or suspect that a child is being abused or harmed in some way, what should you do?
We believe child protection is every adult's responsibility and by speaking up about your concerns you can help stop a child being abused or harmed.
If you would like to talk things through, you can call our free helpline ParentLine Scotland on 0808 800 2222. We will listen and help you work through what you need to do and what support is available. If you find it easier to write things down, you can contact us through our confidential email service.
If a child tells you they have been abused
Let them know you take them seriously, praise them for telling and make sure they understand it is not their fault. You can talk with the child about what needs to happen next.
Where to get help
- You can call the Police if you think a child is in immediate danger.
- Get in contact with your local Social Work Office, a healthcare worker such as a family doctor or contact the child's School.
- Call the Scottish child protection information line on 0800 022 3222.
- You can also give information to the Reporter to the Children's Panel. The Reporter is an independent official who can decide if there is a need to take action to protect a child.
All of these numbers are in your local telephone book.
What happens if you report abuse?
If you call your local Social Work Office or the Police you don't have to give your name. You will be encouraged to in case they need more information that could help the child later on. The most important thing in any investigation will be the safety of the child.
What will happen to the child?
Many people are unsure about reporting suspected child abuse because they are afraid that the abuser will be sent to prison or the child taken away from home. This is not always what happens. The priority will be to stop the abuse and keep the family together where possible.
Sometimes if a child will not be safe they might be looked after by a relative or the Local Authority. Most of these children return home as soon as it is felt they will be safe.
Child protection is everyone's responsibility. If you have a concern, ACT NOW.