Roles and Responsibilities

All agencies that work with children have a shared responsibility for protecting children and safeguarding their welfare. Each has a different contribution to make to this common task.

Children rarely contact police or social workers directly about abuse.Most child protection referrals come from other agencies, such as schools or primary health care professionals, or from the public, often parents and relatives, friends and neighbours.The police and social work services rely on others in contact with children to tell them about concerns and to pass on information given by children. Agencies should promote public awareness about risks to children and work towards developing trust between members of the public and professionals.Professionals should inform members of the public that they have an obligation to pass information about child abuse to agencies with statutory responsibilities to make inquiries, such as the social work service or the police, and that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed if a child may be at risk of serious harm.

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