Child protection and how to report a concern
What you can do if you think a child or young person is being abused or neglected and how you can report any concerns that you have.
To report concerns about a child who does not already have a social worker, please contact our single point of contact.
If you believe a social worker is already involved with the child or young person, contact the worker through the social work team for their area:
- Central Dorset including Sturminster, Blandford and Purbeck
- South Dorset including Weymouth and Portland
- West Dorset including Bridport, Dorchester and Sherborne
- East Dorset including Wimborne, Ferndown and Christchurch
- for young people aged 18 to 25, see our adult abuse page for contact details (opens in a new window)
If you're concerned that a child or young person is at immediate risk of significant harm, and you believe it requires urgent action, call the Police on 999.
Signs of child abuse
Child abuse can be:
- physical abuse
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
A child may be experiencing abuse if he or she:
- is often dirty, hungry or poorly dressed
- is often in unsafe situations
- is constantly insulted, sworn at or humiliated
- seems afraid of their parents or carers
- has bruises or injuries from their parent or carer
- displays sexual behaviour which is inappropriate for their age
- is growing up in a home where there is ongoing domestic violence
- is living with parents or carers involved in serious drug or alcohol abuse
Dorset Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB)
The DSCB brings together information for:
- young people
- their families
- anyone who works with children and families
Visit the Dorset Safeguarding Children Board's (DSCB) website (opens in a new window) for further advice and support if you have concerns about a child.