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About Safeguarding Children in Bristol

Learn about safeguarding children

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everybody’s business. It involves:

  • 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

Safeguarding children is also about child protection. This means the variety of activities that take place to protect children who may be at risk of significant harm due to emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect. Safeguarding children is a multi-agency concern co-ordinated by the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership

If you are worried about a child and think that he or she may be the victim of (or at risk from) neglect, abuse or cruelty you can talk to a teacher, health visitor, doctor or youth worker, who will give you advice about what to do next. You can also raise a safeguarding referral by contacting the First Response Team on 0117 903 6444 or submit a safeguarding referral through the online form.

Types of abuse include:

  • Emotional abuse. The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.
  • Neglect. The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve failure to provide adequate food, hygiene, safety, supervision and medical care. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
  • Physical Abuse. The infliction of physical harm to a child (hitting, shaking, etc). Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates or induces illness in a child.
  • Sexual Abuse. Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. It may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at sexual images or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Visit the support services page for links to other groups that can provide specialist support to children you may be concerned about. We also have a collection of resources for you to learn more about specific risks to children.