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Concerned about a child?

At CHILDREN 1ST, we believe it’s everybody’s responsibility to protect children. If you know or suspect that a child is being harmed or abused in some way, you need to act.

If a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.

Social work

Visit WithScotland's website to find out how to contact your local social work office.

Children's Reporter

You can also contact the local Children's Reporter who can decide if action is needed to protect a child.

ParentLine Scotland

We know that it can be difficult to work out what to do. If you are concerned about a child, contact our national, confidential helpline ParentLine Scotland on 08000 28 22 33 or by emailing parentlinescotland@children1st.org.uk. We will listen and help you work through what you need to do. We’ll also let you know what support is available.

Supporting a child

If a child tells you they have been abused, let them know that you are taking them seriously, praise them for telling you and make sure they understand it is not their fault. You can talk with the child about what needs to happen next. Our child abuse factsheet is free to download. We also provide Twelve Top Tips to support children who have been sexually abused.

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. However, you will be encouraged to, in case they need more information to 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 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 is not 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.