Newcastle City Council is supporting the national ‘Together, we can tackle child abuse’ campaign which has been developed by the Department for Education.

The campaign is aiming to make recognising and reporting child abuse a social norm and something that everyone can help prevent.

The campaign will tackle the barriers that stop people reporting child abuse and shows that everyone has a role to play in protecting the children and young people in the City.

A third of people who suspect child abuse do nothing. People often don’t act on their suspicions because they’re worried about being wrong. You don’t have to be absolutely certain about your suspicions, if you have a feeling that something is not right you should contact the Council’s Children Social Care Team.

The campaign highlights an “ABC” of spotting signs of child abuse and neglect. Look for changes in

Appearance – Such as regular unexplained injuries, poor hygiene, matted hair, unexplained gifts or a parent collecting their children from school when drunk

Behaviour – Such as demanding or aggressive behaviour, frequent lateness or absence from school, avoiding their own family, misusing drugs and alcohol or being constantly tired

Communication – Such as sexual or aggressive language, self-harming, becoming secretive and reluctant to share information or being overly obedient

Councillor Joanne Kingsland, cabinet member for Children and Young People said “Newcastle City Council continues to prioritise protecting vulnerable children and young people across the City and is always raising awareness of the signs of abuse and neglect and the ways this can be reported.

It is important that everyone across the City understands the role they can have in ensuring all our children and young people are safe.

It can be difficult to spot the signs of neglect, familiarising yourself with the ABC list the DfE have provided is a great place to start. We have also produced specialist leaflets which have been distributed across the City highlight local information for reporting child abuse and neglect.

People who report child abuse and neglect should remember that information is gathered from many sources and your report would form part of a bigger picture. In Newcastle we are committed to protecting vulnerable children, ensuring they feel safe and receive the support they need.

To do this we need every member of our community to take responsibility.”

If you are worried about a child in the City you should contact the Initial Response Service by calling 0191 277 2500 or visit gov.uk/tacklechildabuse