Abuse and neglect

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment; a person may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm.

Child welfare concerns may arise in many different contexts, and can vary greatly in terms of their nature and seriousness. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or by a stranger, including, via the internet. In the case of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), children may be taken out of the country to be abused. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children. An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives.

Abuse and neglect can happen over a period of time, but can also be a one off event. Child abuse and neglect have major long term impacts on all aspects of the child's health, development and wellbeing.

Examples of child abuse:

  • Emotional/Psychological - bullying (including through social networks and internet),threats, humiliation, blaming, verbal abuse, isolation.
  • Physical- hitting, pinching, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating.
  • Sexual - physical contact (inc. penetrative and non-penetrative acts), being party to inappropriate sexual behaviour, grooming,Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
  • Neglect - Failing to provide a child's basic needs (inc. adequate food, clothing,hygiene, supervision or shelter), ignoring health or developmental needs, stopping access to services, withholding/preventing education, not prioritising the child's needs.

If you have a concern about a child please complete the Multi Agency Service Request Form, if your concern is urgent contact The MASH on 01452 426 565 (during office hours), or if you are concerned about the immediate safety of a child please contact the Police on 999 at any time.


What to do if you are worried a child is being abused

What to do if you have concerns about a child

Child Abuse Poster

Traffic Light Tool for Sexual Behaviours


Anti-Bullying Poster

Anti- Bullying Charter for Gloucestershire

Sharing the Lessons from Serious Case Reviews
For further information on Serious Case Reviews, refer to the Serious Case Review Section

Sharing the Lessons Poster - 2013/14

Sharing the Lessons Poster - 2010

Children in Need Poster - "What does good look like?"

Neglect Strategy

Help us improve Safeguarding Children in Gloucestershire

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.