Parent and Carers
The safety and welfare of all children - and safeguarding - is everyone’s business. You could be a relative, neighbour, friend, parent, childminder, teacher or doctor - or working for any organisation which has contact with children and young people.
Most children generally enjoy a happy childhood within their own family. Unfortunately for some, this is not the case. During difficult family times, everyone who knows the child must do the best they can to keep them safe and protect them from future harm and we need to work together to make sure this happens.
Safeguarding means protecting children from physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect. It also means helping children to grow up into confident, healthy and happy adults.
This part of the website is about helping parents, carers or guardians to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. By providing information on the many different forms of abuse and signposting you to where you can go to report a concern or get further help and support, we are ensuring that Safeguarding really is everyone’s business.
Together we can make a difference.
What to do if you're concerned about a child
If you have concerns about the safety of a child or young person contact your local Safeguarding Team on the telephone numbers provided below:
Neath & Port Talbot: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01639 686802
Swansea: email@example.com or phone 01792 635700
If you suspect a child or young person is at immediate risk of harm call 999 and speak to the Police.
In a non-emergency situation you can contact the police by dialling 101.
If it is found that a child is being abused or is at risk of significant harm, professionals will work together with the family to ensure that the child can be protected. We are committed to working in partnership with parents and carers of children and young people.
Domestic abuse is not just physical violence, but can also take other forms such as emotional, controlling and coercive behaviour, and economic abuse between two people aged 16 or over who are personally connected. (Domestic Abuse Act 2021).
Domestic abuse can also include so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
It is important to understand that domestic abuse is not the same as a bad relationship and can occur both during a relationship or after it has ended.
1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be affected in their lifetime.
Many of the effects of abuse for the male victim of domestic abuse are the same as for women. They are likely to feel deeply shamed, frightened, experience a loss of self-worth and confidence, feel isolated, guilty and confused about the situation. However, women are disproportionately affected by this issue.
How are children affected?
Children are affected in many ways by abuse, even after a short time. These effects include:
- Feeling frightened
- Becoming withdrawn
- Bed wetting
- Running away
- Behavioural difficulties
- Problems with school
- Poor concentration
- Emotional turmoil
To many, it seems simple: if an individual is being abused, they should just get up and go, or throw the abuser out. Anyone who has been in an abusive relationship knows it is a lot more difficult than that. It is quite common for someone being abused to leave and return to the abuser several times.
It is important to be clear that domestic abuse is not a private matter and is also a child protection issue.
Mental Health and Well-Being - Parents and Carers
2 Wish Upon A Star provides immediate and ongoing bereavement support for families, individuals and professionals affected by the sudden and traumatic death of a child or young adult aged 25 or under.
Family Lives provides parenting and family support, including a confidential and free helpline service for families in Wales (previously known as Parentline), for emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life.
Papyrus provides confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person.
The Samaritans is a helpline service which is available 24/7, providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide.
YoungMinds is the UK's leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide exist to meet the needs and break the isolation experienced by those bereaved by suicide.
Child Sexual Exploitation
What is Child Sexual Exploitation?
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status.
Children or young people may be tricked into believing they're in a loving, consensual relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed online. The abuser may physically or verbally threaten the young person or be violent towards them. They will control and manipulate them and try to isolate them from friends and family. It happens to boys and young men as well as girls and young women. Abusers are very clever in the way they manipulate and take advantage of the young people they abuse.
Some children and young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Know the Signs
Even something that seems like normal teenage behaviour could be a sign that a child is being exploited.
These can include:
- Increasing or secretive mobile phone or other devise use
- Excessive amount of time online and being secretive about time online
- A significantly older ‘boyfriend’ or ‘friend’ or lots of new friends
- Change in behaviour – becoming secretive, argumentative, aggressive, disruptive, quiet, withdrawn
- Having unexplained gifts or new possessions such as clothes, jewellery, mobile phones or having money or access to other goods such as alcohol that can’t be accounted for
- Regularly missing from home or school, for unexplained periods of time and or staying out late or all night.
What can I do as a parent or carer?
It is important to discuss with children the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships to help highlight potential risks to them. There are also a number of practical steps you can take to protect your child:
- Staying alert to changes in behaviour or any physical signs of abuse such as bruising.
- Being aware of new, unexplained gifts or possessions such as clothes, jewellery, mobile phones or having money or access to other goods such as alcohol that can't be accounted for.
- Carefully monitoring any episodes of staying out late or not returning home.
- Exercising caution around older friends your child may have, or relationships with other young people where there appears to be a power imbalance.
- Making sure you understand the risks associated with your child being on-line and putting measures in place to minimise these risks.
Exploitation can be hard to recognise, it's important you spot the signs that it's happening.
If a child is in immediate danger call 999.
If your concern is not an emergency you can contact the police on 101.