Child protection and children in need

Call 999 if it is an emergency and the child is in immediate danger

If you are not in an emergency situation but you are worried that a child may be at risk of abuse, harm or neglect, you can make a referral to us.

Online referral form

You can do this whether you are a member of the public or a professional.

What is child protection?

Child protection is about protecting a child who may be experiencing child abuse already or is at risk of experiencing abuse in future.

What is child abuse?

Child abuse falls into several different categories. These can include the following:

Physical abuse SHOW


Emotional abuse SHOW


Sexual abuse SHOW


Neglect SHOW


You can read more on the NSPCC website about child abuse and neglect and signs, symptoms and effects of child abuse and neglect.

How to respond to a child who tells you about abuse

If a child talks to you about abuse, neglect or mistreatment they are experiencing, it is important that you remain calm and reassuring so that the child feels listened to and understood. It is also important that the person they speak to responds appropriately to get the child the support they need. Some tips on how to respond are:

  • Take any disclosure seriously and report it no matter how unlikely it might seem
  • Make notes about what has happened - when and where the discussion happened, who was present and what the child said
  • Once you have decided to report it, do not ask further questions. Let professionals take over from here

You might find the NSPCC resources on helping children disclose abuse helpful.

What to do if you think a child is being abused

If you have concerns about a child, you can report this to us by filling in the online referral form

Should you wish to discuss your concerns first, you can call us.

Members of the public can phone us on 023 8083 3004.

If you are a professional, please contact us on 023 8083 2300.

Contact details

Telephone number for members of the public: 023 8083 3004 

Telephone number for professionals: 023 8083 2300

Email address: childrensresourceservice@southampton.gov.uk

If you are not a professional involved with the child or family, you do not have to give your name and your conversation will be treated confidentially. 
 
NSPCC Freephone Child Protection Helpline: 080 8800 5000