Worried About a Child, Young Person or Adult?
An easy-to-use guide to responding to concerns regarding children or adults
This section outlines how you should respond when you are concerned that a child or adult (person at risk) is at risk of being harmed. It incorporates Local Safeguarding Children and Adult Boards policies and guidance.
Remember that if the person at risk is seriously injured or acutely unwell and needs immediate resuscitation or treatment for any injuries this should be given priority. Recording of your concerns and referral to social services should be completed once they have been stabilised and transferred to a hospital.
1. Listen and Observe
Take a holistic approach.
Sources of information that help to do this include:
- any history that is given
- appearance, demeanour or behaviour
- any physical signs
- interaction between the parent/carer and the person.
- report of maltreatment or disclosure from the person or third party
- result of an investigation
2. Seek an explanation
Seek an explanation for any injury or presentation from both the parent/carer and the person at risk in an open and non-judgemental manner.
An unsuitable explanation may be one that is implausible, inadequate or inconsistent with the person's:
- normal activities
- medical condition (if one exists)
- developmental stage
- account compared with that given by parent and carers
An unsuitable explanation can also be one that is implausible, inadequate or inconsistent:
- between parents or carers
- between accounts over time
Record in the person at risk's clinical record exactly:
- what you hear
- what you see
- who said what and when including 'corridor' conversations
Remember to record why the observations and history lead you to be concerned.
4. Decide whether the person at risk requires a safeguarding referral to be made
Link for submitting Child Protection Reports