Worried about a child
You're concerned about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in the Dorset area
If you're worried about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person who lives in Dorset contact our Children's Advice and Duty Service:
See our adult abuse page for contact details or young people aged 18 to 25.
Find out more about child exploitation and when to report it.
If you're a professional and you're concerned about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in the Dorset area contact our professionals' Children's Advice and Duty Service:
One of our consultant social workers will talk through your worries and together you'll agree the best way to meet the needs of the child and support their family. We won't ask you to fill out a referral form.
The child you're concerned about has a social worker
If the child you're concerned about already has a social worker contact them directly:
If the child lives in the east or north of Dorset:
If the child lives in the west of Dorset:
The Children's Social Care teams provide a statutory social work service. This means they work with children, young people and their families who are considered in need, children who are subject to a plan for protection and a small number of children who are in care.
Social workers have legal child protection duties but they also work proactively to help prevent difficulties starting or repeating.
All our children's social care teams work closely with other professionals and agencies, including:
- early years education providers
- schools health services
- community-based professionals
You're concerned about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in the Christchurch area
Contact Bournemouth Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH):
What to report
The following websites are useful for you if you're worried about a child or for children who want to speak to someone:
- NSPCC for information about the different types of child abuse and what you should do if you're worried about a child
- Childline for private and confidential phone calls for children up to 18 years
- Bullying UK for support for children and young people who are being bullied
- Frank for friendly, confidential advice and questions about drugs
- Anti-Bullying Alliance for information about how to stop bullying
- Think U Know for keeping children and young people safe online
- CEOP for developing child safeguarding policies and providing advice on making the internet safer for young people
What to do if you're worried about child sexual abuse.
Find help if you've experienced any form of domestic abuse. This includes:
- victim support
- courses for survivors
- support for children and young people who have seen domestic abuse
Dorset Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB)
Visit the DSCB website for further advice and support if you have concerns about a child.
The DSCB brings together information for:
- young people
- their families
- anyone who works with children and families