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Parents and Carers

How do professionals protect children?

Professionals - such as, teachers, doctors, and social workers - all work together to make sure children and young people are safe.

One of the ways that they do this is by talking to each other and letting each other know if they have worries about a child - because of something they have seen, heard or noticed.

When social workers are told someone is worried about a child, they may visit the child's family home to check that everything is all right. Social workers may need to know more to make sure a child is safe - so they may start a child protection investigation (also known as a 'Section 47' after Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 - external link).

The police will be consulted at this point to see whether they need to get involved. This investigation will lead to a child protection conference where parents and carers will be able to hear all of the worries that professionals have about their child, and will be asked for their views.

Social workers will try to keep families together during this child protection process wherever possible. Only in the more serious cases are children taken into care.

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How do I report a concern?

If you are worried about a child that you know, please report it as soon as possible - find out how on the making a referral page. So long as you do not work with the child professionally, you can can ask social workers not to tell the family that it was you who reported the concern - and they will do their best to maintain your anonymity.

Even if you are not sure that something is wrong, but you have a gut feeling, you can talk to a member of the First Response Service and get their advice. See the worried about a child page for contact details.

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What happens if someone reports concerns about my child?

If a professional worker or a family member or neighbour reports your child to the authorities, you may feel anxious, scared or angry that people are questioning you as a parent. This is a normal reaction, but the authorities must investigate when they have reasons to be worried to make sure that children are safe. Some reasons social workers might be worried are when a child's behaviour or appearance changes or when someone has noticed something troubling.

You may not be aware of how things happening in your home or your behaviour is affecting your child - the social worker allocated to your case can help you think about this.

Ask the social worker to explain the process to you, so that you know what to expect.

If social workers continue to have concerns, they may start a child protection investigation, which will include a Child Protection Conference. You will be invited to attend this conference and to say what you think about other people's worries.

The conference will agree a Child Protection Plan - which is a plan of actions to help keep your children safe - and a Core Group will make sure that the Plan is working. A Core Group is a smaller group of professionals that meets more often than the Child Protection Conference.

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Internet Safety and My Child

Find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it on the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) Think U Know website (external link). The site has a section for parents to help you protect your children online, by helping you understand the internet and understand what the risks are. It outlines a number of things you can do that will make your child safer online.

Report online abuse and online grooming to CEOP (external link).

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What local and national support services can we access?

There are many services in Haringey and nationally that are there to support you.

Here are just a few useful contacts:


  • Find a counsellor or psychotherapist close to you and suited to your needs: Counselling Directory (external link)

Schools, Early Years and Play


Alcohol and Substance Misuse

Download Haringey's Drug and Alcohol Support & Treatment Service Directory (PDF, 233Kb)

  • Haringey Advisory Group on Alcohol - HAGA (external link): Confidential advice for people with alcohol problems and their families. Tel: 020 8800 6999
  • Drug Advisory Service for Haringey (DASH): DASH offers a free and confidential service, providing a range of services to drug users, their families, partners and friends in the London Borough of Haringey. Tel: 020 8826 2400
  • In-Volve Haringey: Young People's Drug & Alcohol Treatment Service. Tel: 020 8493 8525
  • Narcotics Anonymous (external link): Free & non-professional self-help groups using 12 step format of recovery. Tel: 0300 999 1212
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (external link): Free & non-professional self-help groups using 12 step format of recovery. Tel: 0845 769 7555
  • Al Anon (external link): Support groups for people affected by someone else's drinking. Al-a-Teen is for teenage children affected by a family member or a friend's drinking. The confidential Helpline is available 10am-10pm, 365 days a year. Tel: 020 7403 0888

Domestic Violence

Legal Advice

Other Advice

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Useful Links

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Contact Us

Report Abuse and Neglect

If you are worried about a child for any reason, contact MASH on 020 8489 4470.

If you are making a referral:

If you are calling between 5pm and 9am weekdays or anytime at the weekend, call the Emergency out-of-hours duty team on 020 8489 0000.

If you or a child is in immediate danger you should always phone 999.