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Child abuse

What to do if you are concerned about a child

If you are concerned about a child’s safety or you think that a child or young person under the age of 18 is being harmed in some way please contact us. Telephone 01202 735046 or email In an emergency please contact Dorset Police and ask for the Police Child Protection Investigation Unit.

Whilst it can be difficult to report concerns you may have, or to know what to do for the best, it is important to take action when you suspect a child or young person might be at risk of abuse or neglect, or be unsafe.

Sometimes people are reluctant to report their concerns because:

  • there may be other reasons why a child is behaving in a certain way which are not related to abuse or harm they have experienced
  • they do not want to make matters worse
  • they fear that a child might be taken away from their parents or carers

However, it is important to take some action. This may involve:

  • talking to the parent or carer about your concerns for the child if you are able to
  • suggesting that the parents seek help and contact us, or contact their health visitor or doctor
  • in cases where there are significant concerns it is always important to discuss these concerns in confidence with us or one of the national helplines

If you are a member of the public, you will be asked for any details you may have about the child or young person you are concerned about and about the concerns you have. These details will help us make further enquiries. You will also be asked for your name and contact details so that we can contact you again if necessary. Information about your name and address will be treated as confidential.

If you are a professional with information or concerns about a child or young person you should consult any relevant inter-agency child protection procedures about how to make a referral and then inform us.

If you are in any doubt about making a referral, you can always contact us and we will advise you as to what should happen next.

Contact details


01202 735046

Children and Young Peoples Social Care
14a Commercial Road
BH14 0JW 

Page last updated: 02 May 2019
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