What to do if you're worried about a child
If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, you can speak to us about your concerns. Whether you want to report child abuse and neglect or aren't sure what to do, we're here to listen, offer advice and support and can take the next steps if a child's in danger.
Our telephone lines are open Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm and 9am – 6pm at the weekend. You can contact us online 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Please note, we are currently experiencing a high level of demand to our helpline service, particularly through our online channels. We are working hard to make sure that we respond to all those who need us as soon as possible. Please remember if a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999 straight away.
It's normal to feel anxious, nervous or unsure about getting in touch with us. We're here to help and take that worry from you. Letting us know you're worried about a child could be the first step to helping protect them from a lifetime of abuse and neglect.
If you’re using a mobile device/tablet and are experiencing difficulties completing our online form, please try using a computer, or call us on 0808 800 5000, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report your concern.
Reporting child abuse anonymously
There are lots of reasons why someone might want to remain anonymous when contacting us. You don't have to tell us who you are, where you live or share your contact details. If you do choose to share any of these with us, you can tell us not to share them with other agencies – like the police or social services.
If we think a child could be at risk we have a duty to share information that you give us with other agencies. But we'll respect your wishes around remaining anonymous. If you'd like to find out more about remaining anonymous, please do get in touch.
How to contact us
You can call us on 0808 800 5000, Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm and 9am – 6pm at the weekends.
Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles. All our calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.
Calling from outside the UK?
Call +44 203 879 8560 if you're living outside of the UK but have concerns about a child resident within the UK.
Calls from outside of the UK will be charged.
If you're concerned about a child from another country, please contact the local police.
As a UK-based charity, we're unable to guarantee that prompt safeguarding action would be taken for concerns reported about children who live in, or are nationals of, other countries. If you're worried about a child from other country, the best thing to do is to contact the local welfare agencies or police.
You can report your worries to us through our online form. We'll read it within 24 hours and decide what action needs to be taken.
If you’re using a mobile device/tablet and are experiencing difficulties completing this form, please try using a computer, or call us on 0808 800 5000, or email email@example.com to report your concern.
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll aim to respond within 72 hours.
Please share as much information as you can about the child and the concerns you have.
If you have any details that can help to identify the child, like their name or address, please share them too.
You can also email us your telephone number and name (or a false name if you prefer) and we can call you.
If you have a webcam you can contact us via SignVideo.
SignVideo using British Sign Language is available on PC, Mac, iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android smartphones (4.2 or above).
Once you're connected, a BSL interpreter will appear on your screen – you can explain to the interpreter what your concerns are and tell them that you want to contact the NSPCC. They'll contact us and relay your concerns to one of our counsellors.
The counsellor will listen to your concerns, assess the information and advise on a course of action – the interpreter will relay, to you, the information and advice given by the counsellor.
This BSL video service is currently available Monday to Friday, from 8am to 8pm and Saturdays, 8am to 1pm.
What happens when you contact us
Our helpline team is here to make your contact as stress-free and comfortable as possible. Finding out what happens when you get in touch can help put your mind at ease about the process.
A call handler will answer the phone and ask a few basic questions to help them understand your worries. They might give you answers to specific questions you have. If you’re worried about a child or need parenting advice, they’ll put you through to a helpline counsellor.
A helpline counsellor will listen to your concerns and ask you any questions they might have. This helps make sure they understand the information you’re sharing, assess the situation, offer advice and make decisions about the next steps to take.
They’ll also explain how you can remain anonymous.
When there’s a serious concern about a child, and if you’ve shared information about the child’s identity, the helpline counsellor will take the next steps. This is called "making a referral". The helpline team will make a report and share information with social services. They might also contact local police if the child is in immediate danger.
If the helpline don’t need to make a referral, they’ll give you advice on what you can do or information on local services.
No matter the outcome of your contact, we always encourage you to get in touch again if you need to. We'll pass on any further information you or anybody else shares about the chid or young person you're worried about.
We understand that you might want to know what happens to the child or young person. But we have a duty to protect the privacy of those involved and won't be able to share that information.