Are you worried about a child? Not sure what to do? Follow our guidelines below:
If you are worried about a child or young person it is important that you share this with someone who can help.
We know people might be anxious when sharing concerns about children but please don’t wait. In a worst case scenario it can become too late to help a child.
Who Should I Tell?
If you think a child might be in immediate danger – for example, a baby who has been left unattended in a house – you should always contact the police on 999.
If the child is not in immediate danger, you have a choice about who to speak to because all adults share responsibility for keeping children safe.
You can speak to someone you already know, such as your own health visitor or child’s teacher. They will be able to help by either giving you advice and support, or by taking the matter forwards themselves.
Or, you can contact social services. Each area has their own social services office and it is best if you contact the office where the child lives. The numbers are:
Irvine (covering Irvine, Dreghorn and Kilwinning): 01294 310300
Kilbirnie (covering Garnock Valley and North Coast): 01505 684551
3Towns (covering Saltcoats, Stevenston and Ardrossan): 01294 605261
Arran: 01770 600742
If you are unsure what the right office is, phone the Irvine office.
These offices are open during the day. If it’s after 5 0’clock, or a weekend/public holiday, you should contact:
Ayrshire Out of Hours Service 0800 328 7758
What Should I Say?
You do not have to give your name. While it is usually easier and more helpful if you give your own details, this is not necessary to help the child.
You must clearly tell the person that you are worried about a child. Then give them as much information as you can about the child and why you are worried.
What Happens Next?
Unless a child is in immediate danger, social services will always make some enquiries before deciding what action to take. They will check with other people who know the child such as their teacher and health visitor to see if they also have concerns. They will look to see if anyone else has shared a concern about the child. By doing this, they begin to build an overall picture about this child and their circumstances.
The information you share can make a crucial difference to this picture.
Depending on the picture that emerges for this child, the family will be offered different kinds of support to ensure the child is safe and well looked after.
The first priority for everyone is making sure the child is safe. Everyone can play a part in this. Please play your part by telling someone if you have any concerns about a child.