Most children enjoy happy childhood experiences within their own family. Unfortunately, for some this is not the case. During difficult family times everyone has a responsibility to protect children from harm.
What is harm?
Harm is ill treatment or child abuse. Here are some examples:
Emotional abuse – may involve making a child constantly feel worthless or unloved, frightened or in danger.
Sexual abuse – is when a child is made to take part in or watch sexual activities: or they may be around when someone is looking at pornographic material.
Neglect – a child is left alone, not fed or clothed properly, the home is cold or dirty or a child is not protected from danger.
Physical abuse – could be any physical injury like cuts, bruises, scalds or broken bones that have not happened by accident.
What should I do if I think a child is being harmed?
Telephone British Forces Social Work services straight away on Tel: 0800 724 3176
or RMP BFG CRIMELINE on Tel: 08001 84 2222– they will listen.
Do I have to give my name?
As a member of the public you will be asked for your name for social work use. However if you decide you want to remain anonymous from the family you are referring, that decision will be respected.
What happens next?
Social workers will follow up every report where they believe a child may be at risk of harm. They will talk to anyone who knows the child and may be able to provide a clearer picture. This includes Teachers, Health Visitors and members of the children’s family.
After this several things could happen:
- No further action
- Help & support may be offered to the family
- An investigation may take place
Are children taken away from home?
Very rarely – social workers cannot remove a child from their family without a legal order. This only happens when there are serious concerns and then consideration is always given to the child being looked after by a relative or friend.
Will I be told what has happened?
Unfortunately as a member of the public you are not entitled to know what action will be taken. However you should be informed that your referral has been received and will be dealt with as soon as possible, unless you have not provided your name and contact details.
BFSWS Central Referral Team:
Freephone 0800 724 3176 (this will divert out of hours to a member of the team)
RMP BFG CRIMELINE: