Child abuse and Safeguarding


This is a subject we must discuss within this starter pack because it everyone’s obligation to report child abuse.

Recognising what is child abuse and how to respond to it is complexed. As we are paid to work within the home we are not of any authority, nor police, so if we suspect child abuse we must report it to someone in authority and remove ourself from the situation immediately.

Child abuse can be a number of things

Physical abuse: hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating or other physical harm.

This could be indicated by:

be vigilant of bruises in a young baby who is yet to be mobile, bruises with a distinct shape and pattern, like a handprint, grasp, finger marks, belt marks. burns or scalds with clear outlines, injury with no explanation given, bite marks, bruising in and around the mouth, especially in babies.

Emotional abuse:

emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children they are worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. This may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability. It could be bullying causing children to be frightened and in danger or the exploitation or corruption of children.

This could be indicated by:

a child who persistently criticised or blamed for things that go wrong

a child made to carry out tasks inappropriate for their age

a child who is not allowed to do normal childhood activities

a child who is continually withdrawn and depressed

a child who displays excessive fear of parent or carer

a child who is persistently referred to like him/her, its, the child or any reference other than the child’s name.

Sexual abuse:

sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The act might involve physical contact, including penetration, rape, buggery or oral sex. It could also include non-penetrative acts such as a child looking at or being involved in the production of pornographic materials or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

This could be indicated by:

a child who exhibits sexually explicit behaviour

a child who has inappropriate sexual knowledge for his or her age

suicide attempts or self-inflicted injuries

repeated running away from home

children’s vulnerability to pornography and the internet.


neglect is a persistent failure to meet basic physical and psychological needs of a child, which is likely to cause serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect could also occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once born neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food and clothing, shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment, failure to protect a child from physical or emotional harm or danger, failure to access appropriate medical care of treatment, could also include neglect of or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.

This could be indicated by:

A child who looks thin and ill

a child with a lingering illness which has not been treated

a child who is often dressed in inadequate or unsuitable clothing for weather conditions

a child who suffers repeated accidents, suggesting a lack of proper supervision

a child who does not respond when given attention or on the overhand craves attention or affection from an adult.

a child who is constantly hungry, greedy or stealing food

a child who is continuously smelly, scruffy or dirty

a child who is constantly tired.

WHO TO CONTACT – A charity set up with a number you can ring for advice but also a number for children to ring and report it.

The Police, they can give advice on how to handle the situation but also approach the family in the correct manner.

The local child services, health visitors, council. Depending on the area, usually, if you ring one and it is the wrong place they will have the details of the right place to speak to or they will help you by contacting the relevant authorities on your behalf.


This might be a hard watch for some people but I believe it helps us understand a little more. 

However, I believe our job role is so so important to help families and parents before they reach a crisis point and potentially mistreat the child. 

This video is not just about Hannahs story is includes information on the types of child abuse.