This information provides simple guidance about children who may need protection from harm.
What to do if you are worried about a child
If you are unsure that a child may be suffering but are worried, or if you are concerned that a child has suffered harm, neglect or abuse, please let us know straight away by calling Freephone 0808 100 1727.
In an emergency outside normal office hours, you can contact our Emergency Duty Team or the Police by dialling 999.
South East Wales Safeguarding Children Board (SEWSCB)
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children requires effective coordination in every local area. For this reason, the Children Act 2004 required each Local Authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).
LSCBs are the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how the relevant organisations in each local area will cooperate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and for ensuring the effectiveness of what they do.
From April 1st, 2013, the South East Wales Safeguarding Children Board (SEWSCB) has replaced the five former Local Safeguarding Children Boards in Newport, Torfaen, Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly.
The SEWSCB has the lead strategic role in ensuring that children and young people in the South East Wales region are protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation and discrimination and live in an environment that promotes their well-being and life chances.
If you would like to find out more about the SEWSCB, how it works, or to make a comment, please visit the South East Wales Safeguarding Children Board website.
Signs of Abuse
The following may help you decide whether a child's welfare is at risk of abuse, harm or neglect.
Signs which may suggest physical abuse:
- Any bruising to a baby - pre-walking stage
- Multiple bruising to different parts of the body
- Bruising of different colours indicating repeated injuries
- Fingertip bruising to the chest, back, arms or legs
- Burns of any shape or size
- An injury for which there is no adequate explanation
- A child tells you about it
Signs of possible sexual abuse:
- Something a child has told you
- Something a child has told someone else
- A child who shows worrying sexualised behaviour in their play or with other children
- A child who seems to have inappropriate sexual knowledge for their age
- A child who may be visiting or being looked after by a known or suspected sexual offender
Signs which may suggest emotional harm:
The following signs may be present in children whose parents are over-critical and emotionally distant, or who are unable to meet their child's emotional needs:
- Children whose behaviour is excessive. For example, excessive bedwetting, overeating, rocking, head banging.
- Children who self harm. For example, they may cut or scratch themselves or overdose.
- Children who attempt suicide
- Children who persistently run away from home
- Children who show high levels of anxiety, unhappiness or withdrawal
- Children who usually seek out or avoid affection.
Signs which may suggest neglect:
- Squalid, unhygienic or dangerous home conditions
- Parents who fail to attend to their children's health or development needs
- Children who appear persistently undersized or underweight
- Children who continually appear tired or lacking in energy
- Children who suffer frequent injuries due to lack of supervision.
Positive ways of protecting children
There are many things we can do to protect our children. Children need:
- To feel safe and secure
- Health and happiness
- Appropriate affection
- Lots of smiles
- Praise and encouragement
- To be able to talk to someone
- To be listened to
- New experiences
- Respect for their feelings
- Rewards and treats