Are you worried about a child or young person?

Babies, children and young people have the right to be protected and to be safe from harm by others. Most children in Scotland grow up in a safe and caring environment but sadly some do not. These children need extra help from adults to keep them safe.

We all have a responsibility for the wellbeing of babies, children and young people in our communities. 

We all need to be alert to circumstances where a baby, child or young person may be harmed or is at risk of harm. 

If you are worried about a baby, 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.

Who should I tell?

If you think a child might be in immediate danger you should always contact the police right away by dialing 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 contact the police on 101.

You can speak to someone you already know, such as your own health visitor, doctor, child’s teacher or nursery worker. They will be able to help by either giving you advice and support, or by taking the matter forward themselves.

Or, you can contact social work services. Each area has their own social work services office and it is best if you contact the office where the child lives.

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.

Are you a child or young person?

If you are worried and feel unsafe then you can get help from Childline - a free, private and confidential service where you can be you.

You can speak to a Childline counsellor online or on the phone from 9am – midnight. Call 0800 1111 – it's free, confidential and won't show up on your phone bill. 

You can also get help and support 1-2-1 from a Childline counsellor online: Chat online

Read more about the range of services available.

Are you a parent or carer?

Parentline is here to support anyone caring for or concerned about a child.

Parentline offers a free helpline, email and web-chat service, open Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm and Saturday to Sunday 9am - noon. 

Call 08000 28 22 33


Getting advice

The NSPCC are here to help you. As a leading children's charity that helps to prevent child abuse, they have a wealth of information, advice and guidance:

The NSPCC helpline is open Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm or Saturday - Sunday 9am – 6pm to speak to a professional counsellor and get advice.

Call 0808 800 5000 

NSPCC's trained helpline counsellors can be contacted 24 hours a day by email or their online reporting form.

What to do if you suspect abuse

Upstream- Preventing Sexual abuse

The Upstream Project is an online resource that supports individuals, professionals, people who work directly with children & young people and parents to protect children and young people from sexual abuse. It provides a range of tools and materials to assist with concerns or for those who would like to learn more about preventing sexual abuse in different settings.

Call 0808 1000 900 or visit