Children don’t always know who to trust with their worries. Without a safe place to turn, they can put their trust in the wrong person or keep their fears to themselves. Home isn’t a safe place for every child, and the pandemic made even more children feel trapped, lonely, and unsure who to trust.
Childline gives every child access to free, confidential support whenever they need it. This important service is operated by staff and over 1,500 volunteers around the UK - who delivered over 200,000 counselling sessions between April 2020 and March 2021 alone.
We estimate that more than half a million children suffer abuse or neglect in the UK each year. We know that at least 2 children in the average primary school classroom have experienced abuse or neglect.
Child abuse is preventable – not inevitable. That is why we're here, fighting for every childhood. Part of the work we do to keep children safe is to explain to them in an interactive, age-appropriate way:
- what abuse is
- how to spot the signs
- and what to do if they are ever made to feel scared or worried by something.
We've developed online resources for parents and schools to help them protect children and young people - find out how you can access our online hub. We also have versions of our resources in Welsh, in British Sign Language (BSL) for d/Deaf children and for children with special educational or additional support needs and disability (SEND).
Domestic abuse can have a negative impact on a child's behaviour, brain development and wellbeing. Children need safety and security – and when those needs aren’t met it can take a toll on their education and their mental health.
We’ve been running DART for 10 years. In that time, we’ve worked with more than 2,000 women and children across the UK. And using what we've learnt, since 2018, we’ve trained over 300 professionals in partner organisations to deliver DART themselves.
Getting the right support when a child has been abused is so important. But after sexual abuse, children and their families often struggle to navigate health and social care, therapeutic services, police, and often, the criminal justice process by themselves.
We’re proud to have helped launch The Lighthouse, London’s first Child House, in October 2018. It's the first centre in the UK to bring multiple agencies together under one roof to provide a child-friendly, multidisciplinary service for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation. Based in Camden, it serves the London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington.
Thanks to the Home Office, The Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime, NHS England, the Department for Education, charity partner Morgan Stanley (who raised over £1.5m) this multi-agency project was brought to life. The generous funding the project received helped to refurbish and transform the NSPCC’s service centre in North London.
Together, we can stop child abuse and neglect
Social media isn't safe. There are up to 90 reports of online grooming or child abuse image offences recorded by the police a day.1 Behind each of those reports is a child whose life has been changed forever.
In 2019 over 45,000 supporters across the UK signed our petition. And our voices were heard. On 12 February 2020, government confirmed their proposals for new laws to regulate tech companies and hold them accountable for the abuse that is taking place on their platforms.
Neglect is the most common form of child abuse in the UK.1 But it takes many different forms which makes it difficult to spot, even for trained professionals like police officers, social workers and health workers.
By finding new ways to share our knowledge with others, we can help keep many more children and young people safe. Since 2016, over 21,000 professionals have been trained to use GCP2 in 85 local authority areas. In 2020/21 alone, our partner organisations used the GCP2 assessment tool to support over 19,000 people around the UK.2 Our training is available in multiple languages, and we’ve developed accessible versions for adults and children with learning disabilities.
"It’s crucial that everyone plays their part to prevent child abuse. What you’ve read on this page is a reflection of the fantastic contribution made by our supporters, partners, volunteers and staff. Thank you for your support and the part you play in building a better world for children. Together we can stop child abuse and neglect."
Peter Wanless, CEO of NSPCC
Together, we can stop child abuse and neglect. Through the collective power of our staff, volunteers, supporters and partners, and our 100 years of experience; we will move closer to achieving that goal.
Read about our vision and impact goals for the next 10 years and find out how you can help us achieve them. Together, we can stop child abuse and neglect.
Together, we can stop child abuse and neglect
How your money is spent
80p in every pound you donate to us is spent on children and young people.
Your amazing donations, fundraising and campaigning helps us reach millions of children and young people with our advice, information and service.
Every pound you donate helps us protect children and prevent abuse.
Make a donation
Right now, many children are struggling to cope. Thousands are calling Childline with thoughts of self-harm and suicide, and many have nowhere else to turn. Please donate today to help us be here for children this winter.
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1. NSPCC estimates are based on the latest police recorded crime figures available (1 April 2019 – 30 June 2019) for England and Wales for Obscene Publication offences and Sexual Grooming offences. There was a combined average of 89.8 offences a day.
Published figures do not reveal how many of the Obscene Publication offences involve images of children but results from the NSPCC’s previous Freedom of Information request suggest the vast majority are.
For both offences, it is likely the majority of crimes involve the internet considering the role it can play in publishing and sharing images or the way it could be used by offenders to contact and build relationships with children.
1. Sources: Based on child protection plan and register statistics and Scottish Government and Brandon, M. et al. (2013) Neglect and serious case reviews: a report from the university of East Anglia commissioned by NSPCC (PDF).
2. According to the impact report for 2020/21: We reached many more children and adults through our scaled-up services than target, once restrictions eased and staff returned. GCP2 reached 19,898 people