Report abuse Contact our helpline if you’re worried about a child and speak to one of our counsellors
Don't wait until you're certain if you are worried about a child. If you have any concerns or suspicions, contact our free helpline service to speak to an NSPCC counsellor 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
We will listen to your concerns, offer advice and support and can take action on your behalf if a child is in danger.
You don’t have to tell us who you are if you don’t want to, or you can ask us not to share your name or contact with the police or social services. Find out more about how you can remain anonymous below.
All communications will be recorded and we keep records for 15 years.
Report it online
If you have concerns about a child's safety and wellbeing, including a child in your family, you can report it to us online. One of our advisors will read it within 24 hours and decide what action needs to be taken.
How we can help
Our helpline service provides:
- support for adults who are worried about a child
- advice for parents and carers
- consultations with professionals who come into contact with abused children or children at risk of abuse
- information about child protection and the NSPCC
Ways to contact us
- Calls to 0808 800 5000 are free from landlines and most mobiles.
- You can text or email us for a call back. If you text, please provide your telephone number and name (or false name if you prefer).
- All our calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.
Calling from outside the UK?
- Call +44 203 188 3500 or +44 203 222 4100 if you are 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, contact the local police.
Everything we do is to help protect children from harm and abuse. However, as a UK based charity we’re unable to guarantee that prompt safeguarding action would be taken about concerns reported to the helpline for 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.
- Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
- We will aim to respond within 72 hours.
- Provide 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, such as their name or address, please share them too.
- If you're requesting information, please tell us what you want it for.
If you have a webcam you can contact us via
- SignVideo using British Sign Language is available on PC, Mac, iOS (iphone/ipad) and Android smartphone (4.2 or above).
- Once you are 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 – the interpreter will contact us and relay your concerns to one of our counsellors.
- The counsellor will listen to your concerns, assess the information, and then 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.
We have a duty to share information that you give us with other agencies, if we think that a child could be at risk of harm.
However, when contacting us:
- you don’t have to tell us who you are if you don’t want to, or
- if you do give us your name and contact details, you can ask us not to share these with other agencies, like the police or social work services
Please contact us if you want to know more about remaining anonymous.
Our helpline team is available 24/7, whether you want to report worries about a child, get support with a parenting issue, or need general information and advice about child protection.
Here's what to expect when and after you get in touch, and a chance to meet some of the people who will help you:
Step 1: Speaking to a call handler
A call handler will answer the phone and ask a few basic questions to understand your worries and provide answers to specific queries.
If you choose to contact us by text, email or online, they will prioritise the most urgent queries.
If you are contacting us because you are worried about a child or need parenting advice, they will connect you with a helpline counsellor.
The call handler will connect you with an information specialist if you are contacting us for technical information, such as a child protection case or for academic research.
(You can watch a call handler talking about their role in the video above.)
Step 2: Connecting to a counsellor
A counsellor will listen to your concerns and ask questions to make sure they understand the information, so that they can assess the situation and advise on a course of action.
They will also explain how you can remain anonymous if you share information about a child.
If you contact us by text, email or online, they will write back to you with advice or with further questions. They may ask you to call us if you can. Most of the time this will involve the NSPCC passing the information on to the police or Social Services.
(You can watch a counsellor talking about their role in the video above.)
Step 3: Making a referral or providing advice
When there is a serious concern about a child, and information about the child's identity has been provided, the counsellor will make a report to Social Services. They will also contact the local police if the child is at immediate risk.
Counsellors and their support team will 'make a referral', which means sharing the information with social workers and/or police to make a decision on what to do next.
For contacts that don't require a referral, the counsellor will advise you on what to do next, such as any action you can take yourself or by providing information about local services.
Step 4: Completing the contact
At the end of your conversation, the counsellor will ask how you are feeling and may ask some evaluation questions to help us improve the service.
After you contact us
Whatever action is taken, we will always encourage you to call back if you feel you need to.
We will pass on any further information about the child concerned that we receive from you or anyone else.
While we understand that you may want to know what happens to the child that you contact us about, we have a duty to protect the privacy of those involved and will not be able to share that information.
Other people involved
In addition to call handlers and counsellors, there are other people who work behind the scenes to make our helpline service happen.
Duty managers work with the whole team to manage the service efficiently and support the helpline counsellors in their work.
Watch this video to see a duty manager describe the kinds of discussions they have and decisions they make in a typical day.
Support assistants maintain important links to local authorities and police services and make it possible for us to manage the volume of calls and contacts we receive.
Signs of child abuse and neglect
What to look out for, the effects of abuse and support for adults abused as children
Last year a third of all calls to our helpline were about neglect, a figure that's even higher at Christmas. Donate now and help shine a light on children left in the dark.