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Where an issue of child protection is brought to your attention, children are relying on you to help them. They rely on you to:

• Listen to their wishes and feelings
• Keep them informed
• Give them time to make choices
• Limit sharing of information
• For the service to be non-stigmatised
• To build up a relationship and a good rapport with them

If you have concerns about a child you need to refer them to the Child Protection Liaison Offer or directly to children’s services or to the police, you may be approached by children’s services for information about a child or family or be involved in an assessment.

You may be asked to provide help or a specific service to the child or family as part of an agreed plan and contribute to the reviewing of the child’s progress

There are a number of rules to follow if a child discloses to you:

1. Listen carefully
2. Record the conversation in the child’s words and note the time
3. Sign and date the record that you make
4. Take it seriously
5. Reassure them that they are right to tell and they are not to blame
6. Explain what will happen next and that you have to report this, you cannot promise not to tell

Please ensure that you do not do any of the following:

1. Ask leading questions
2. Make promises you cannot keep
3. Jump to conclusions
4. Speculate or accuse anybody
5. It is not your responsibility to decide if the allegation is true or not

Even when a child raises an issue and the person is in the public spotlight and deemed to be a professional or respected public figure do not hold back on reporting the issue.

Think about the Jimmy Savile case and the hundreds of children he abused.
If in doubt you need to speak up to protect the interests of the child and let the professionals decide if this is a child protection issue or not. You have a legal responsibility to report this, do not delay in raising this issue. Please remember that;

• Children have a right to be safe
• Adults have a responsibility to protect children
• Abuse and neglect are damaging
• Abuse and neglect continue because of the secrecy and silence which surround them
• You only have one small piece of the jigsaw
• Children rarely lie about abuse
• An abuser may well abuse many other children who also have a right to protection