Safeguarding children

also known as: Child Protection, E-Safety, Protecting Children, Social Services, Worried about a Child?.

We all have a statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board has developed this website to provide easily accessible and up-to-date safeguarding information for professionals, children and young people, families and members of the public. The site also provides some information on a range of safeguarding issues for parents and carers and children and young people in Northumberland. We provide links to the websites of other organisations where we know more advice on specific subjects is available.

What to do if you are worried about a child or young person

.If you think a child or young person is being abused or mistreated or you have concerns about the safety or welfare of a child, you must speak to someone immediately. You can ring the Safeguarding Team on 01670 623980 (office hours) who will connect you to your local Children’s Social Care Team or ring 01670 822386 (out of hours).

In an emergency, phone the police 999.

Ofsted 'Whistleblowing'

Although it is a difficult decision to make, there may be times when those working with young children will want to report to Ofsted their concerns about the safeguarding practices and procedures of other professionals/volunteers working with children.

You can contact the Ofsted hotline in three ways.

Before you contact the hotline

Read your employer’s whistleblowing policy and then raise your concerns with your employer. If your employer does not have a whistleblowing policy, or if you are still not sure how to raise your concerns with your employer or someone else, it is suggested that you first get free, confidential advice from the independent whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work; they can help you to decide whether and/or how to raise your concern.

You can call on 020 7404 6609 or email 

For further information, go to the Public Concern at Work website which includes guidance on whistleblowing legislation.

Most people feel anxious about making a referral about a child to social workers, mainly because they do not want to make a mistake or make things worse. It is always best to get advice and be wrong than do nothing and allow a child to be harmed.

Talking through your concerns can help clarify whether there is something to be worried about or not - don't think 'what if I am wrong?' - think 'what if I am right?'

All concerns about children and young people are treated seriously and in confidence. Your name will not be given to anyone else without your permission.

You cannot make a referral from this website you must contact someone from the social care team

Advice for adult survivors of child abuse and neglect

Victims of child abuse can be affected by the experience during adulthood. If you are an adult who experienced child abuse, help is available from the NSPCC. Contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 email text 88858 and talk to a counsellor.

Where to find more help and advice

NHS choices: Information on therapy and counselling available from the NHS and through your GP. Lists other organisations providing talking therapy services.

It's good to talk: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) website to explain what to expect from counselling and psychotherapy. Includes a directory of therapists and counsellors.

National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC): A charity providing a free telephone support line and email for anyone abused in childhood.

The Survivors Trust (TST): A national umbrella agency for over 130 specialist rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse support organisations throughout the UK and Ireland.

Moira Anderson Foundation: A national charity supporting children and adults affected by childhood sexual abuse.

Contact details for Children's Services Social Care Teams

Children's Services Social Care Referral Form - to be used by PROFESSIONALS ONLY please see procedures for guidance on how to make a referral

Its National CSE Awareness Day on 18th March 2015

Please find e-briefing below, it includes information about what we are doing in Northumberland, training and lots of useful resources, we hope you find it helpful.

Operation Sanctuary - Information for the Public from Northumbria Police

Operation Sanctuary is an investigation into allegations of a series of sexual offences predominantly within Newcastle, but also in other local authority areas, involving a number of men from a range of communities and vulnerable female victims, including teenagers and young adults.

To date a number of people, from a range of backgrounds and communities, have been arrested in connection with Operation Sanctuary.

While much of the activity has been in Newcastle, other areas of the force are affected. The investigation continues to progress at pace and there is a dedicated team of officers looking at all the information police continue to receive.

Northumbria Police's absolute priority is to protect any victims or potential victims and they are working closely with those involved and our partners to ensure they receive the appropriate support.

All the latest information about the operational activity, investigation and information for the public can be found on the Operation Sanctuary pages, this includes advice for victims.

As part of Operation Sanctuary, officers have been delivering leaflets in Newcastle city centre to taxi drivers, hotels, and other businesses.

The leaflets advise them of the ongoing operation, how it affects them and what to look out for to identify any potential vulnerable girls or young women. It is another way we are keeping people informed and updated about the operation and how everyone has a part to play in ensuring information is reported to police.

There are also leaflets for the public which give advice about what to look out for and advice when travelling - These can be downloaded by clicking on the pictures below.

Public Information Advice when travelling


Information for schools

Information to ensure that safeguarding procedures are fully understood by all professionals who come into contact with our children and young people in school settings:


Complaints and compliments

Advice about how to make a complaint or compliment about Northumberland Children's Services and where to get support: