Everyone is responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.

If you think a child is being abused or neglected, please contact the council’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) during office hours:

Leave your name and number and we will call you back as quickly as possible.

Hampshire County Council provides alternative useful phone numbers for child protection concerns.

We share information and practices with other organisations, such as health, police and children’s services, to safeguard children and promote their welfare.

Is a child at risk?

If you are unsure whether a child is suffering and are worried that the child has suffered harm, neglect or abuse, the information below may help you decide whether the child is at risk:

Signs of physical abuse

  • any bruising to a baby – pre-walking stage
  • multiple bruising to different parts of the body
  • bruising of different colours, indicating repeated injuries
  • fingertip bruising to the chest, back, arms or legs
  • burns of any shape or size
  • an injury for which there is no adequate explanation

Signs of sexual abuse

  • something a child has told you or told someone else
  • a child who shows worrying sexualised behaviour in their play or with other children
  • a child who seems to have inappropriate sexual knowledge for their age
  • a child who may be visiting or being looked after by a known or suspected sexual offender

Signs of emotional abuse

These signs may be present in children whose parents are over-critical, emotionally distant, or unable to meet their child’s emotional needs:

  • excessive behaviour, such as excessive bedwetting, overeating, rocking, headbanging
  • self-harming, for example, cutting or scratching themselves or an overdose
  • attempt at suicide
  • persistently running away from home
  • high levels of anxiety, unhappiness or withdrawal
  • children who usually seek out or avoid affection

Signs of neglect

  • squalid, unhygienic or dangerous home conditions
  • parents who fail to attend to their children’s health or development needs
  • children who appear persistently undersized or underweight
  • children who continually appear tired or lacking in energy
  • children who suffer frequent injuries due to lack of supervision

Safeguarding information for childcare professionals

We support early years and childcare providers in their policy and practice for safeguarding and child protection. The Department for Education defines safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  • ensuring children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care

If you think a child is being abused or neglected, please contact the council’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) during office hours:

The links below will help ensure safeguarding children policies and procedures are robust and cover all relevant areas – for further information about your safeguarding policy and practice, contact your linked Childcare Development Officer.