If you see behaviour which concerns you, or if a child or young person tells you something, you need to take them seriously, do something about it and speak to someone.
- Reassure the child that they have done the right thing by speaking to you.
- Let the child know that you take them seriously
- Praise the child for telling
- Make sure they understand it is not their fault that they have been abused.
- Respect the child’s trust – don’t discuss what they have told you with friends or neighbours.
- Don’t investigate or ask too many questions
- Don’t take action on your own.
- You can talk with the child about what needs to happen next.
- What to do next
- Get in contact with Social Work (0300 300 1199), Police Scotland (101), a healthcare worker such as a family doctor or contact the child's school.
- Call the Police right away on 999 if you think a child is in immediate danger.
Do I have to give my name?
Any information you give about you will be treated with care. Any details, including your name, will not be revealed unless the child’s safety requires it. Even if you do not give your name, all the concerns you raise will still be checked out.
Any information you give may need to be shared with other professionals to make sure the right action is taken to protect the child.
Many people don’t call because they:
- Believe nothing will be done
- Believe that the child will be taken away from their family
- Worry that the family may find out who reported them
- Worry that they may ruin relationships within their family.
But not calling could put a child in danger.
If it looks like nothing has changed there may not have been enough evidence to take action. But we keep a record of everything we are told. This means that if a lot of different people tell us that they think something is wrong we can see if there is a pattern of abuse. This is why it is very important to tell us any worries that you have about a child, even if you have reported concerns before.