A ‘child at risk’ is a child who:
- is experiencing or is at risk of abuse, neglect or other kinds of harm; and
- who has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs).
A child is abused and neglected when someone inflicts injury, or fails to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family, or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them, or more rarely, by a stranger. A child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. ‘Children’, therefore, means ‘children and young people’ throughout. The fact that a child has become 16 years of age and may be living independently does not change their status or their entitlement to services or protection under the Children Act, 1989.
- be alert to potential indicators of abuse or neglect;
- be alert to the risks that abusers may pose to children;
- share their concerns so that information can be gathered to assist in the assessment of the child’s needs and circumstances;
- work with agencies to contribute to actions that are needed to safeguard and promote the child’s wellbeing
- support the child and their family.
Categories of Abuse are Physical, Sexual, Emotional/Psychological, Financial and Neglect as outlined in the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (2014), Working Together to Safeguard People Volume 5 – Handling Individual Cases to Protect Children at Risk.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples for each of the categories of abuse and neglect (more detailed definitions can be found in the Wales Safeguarding Procedures section 2 – Recognising a child is at risk of harm – Pointers for Practice Signs and Indicators):
- Hitting, slapping, over or misuse of medication, undue restraint or inappropriate sanctions
- Emotional/Psychological Abuse
- Threats of harm or abandonment, coercive control, humiliation, verbal or racial abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks, witnessing abuse of others.
Forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening, including: physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative activities; non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
This category will be less prevalent for a child but indicators could be:
Not meeting their needs for care and support which are provided through direct payments
Complaints that personal property is missing
Failure to meet basic physical, emotional or psychological needs which is likely to result in impairment of health and development.
If you or others have concerns about the welfare of a child or young person, you must report it immediately. For information, advice or assistance please contact the Child Care Assessment Team (CCAT).
Mr S Thomas or Mrs M Thomas: 01646 72249
Mr Ridout (Chair of Governors): 01646 72249
Child Care Assessment Team: 01437 776444
Social Services out of Hours: 0300 333 2222
In an emergency ring: 999