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Worried about a child?

If you have a concern about the safety of a child then you should talk to someone immediately.

You can phone Gateshead Council's Children's Social Care (in confidence) on: (0191) 433 2653 (office hours, Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm) or (0191) 477 0844 (out of office hours at night, at weekends and bank holidays)

If you are worried or have concerns about the safety of a child you can not make a referral from this website. Members of the public can phone the council (in confidence) to report a concern on the number listed above.

If you are a young person with concerns about your own safety (or one of your friends) and you do not want to talk to the police or a social worker you can also call Childline on 0800 1111. This is a free 24 hour number offering advice and support. You can also visit the Childline website.

Members of the public can also contact the NSPCC by text message on 88858 to report concerns about a child. This service is free and anonymous the NSPCC aim to respond within three hours. In an emergency you should always contact the Police (on 999) and/or Children's Services. For non-emergencies you can contact Northumbria Police on 101.

When making a referral it is helpful to have as much information about the children as possible to ensure that the right advice is given and the appropriate actions are taken. You can make an anonymous referral if you wish, but personal information about non-professional referrers will not be disclosed to third parties (including the subject of the referral and their family) without the consent of the referrer.

All referrals from professionals must be made in writing -  click here for the referral form. This process does not exclude the continued offer of professional advice from a duty social worker or include referrals from members of the public.

On occasions where there are concern about the immediate risk of harm the referring agency should act quickly and contact Children's Social Care by telephone and follow the referral up in writing within 24 hours.

You can access a copy of the updated referral form by clicking here or in the Gateshead LSCB Inter-Agency Child Protection Procedures.

Two documents have also been prepared to assist practitioners to best identify whether a child is experiencing difficulties or has additional needs. An indicators of need framework has been produced as a guide to help determine at what level or by what agency any additional needs can be met. 

Indicators of Need guidance (pdf) and Indicators of Need framework (pdf).

For further advice on what to do if you are worried about a child, visit for advice from the Government's Department for Education.