Worried about a child?
If you have a concern about the safety of a child then you should talk to someone immediately.
Phone Gateshead Council's Children's Services (in confidence) on:
0191 433 2653 (office hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30am to 5pm)
0191 477 0844 (out of hours, at night, at weekends and bank holidays)
The Emergency Duty Team will help with personal or family problems that reach a crisis at these times. All calls go through to the Gateshead Care Call Service where a telephone operator takes all the calls. This service is the contact point for all council services out of hours. If the phone isn't answered straightaway, please be patient as they will be dealing with another call.
In an emergency always call 999.
All professionals must make a referral using this form.
If you are a member of the public and have non-urgent concerns for a child in the Gateshead area, please fill in our enquiry form:
For non-emergencies you can contact Northumbria Police on 101.
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 could also contact Childline.
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.
When raising a concern 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 call 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.
What sort of concerns should be reported?
You could be:
- a child or young person who needs advice;
- a parent having difficulties with your children;
- worried about any child;
- a victim of domestic violence;
- concerned about mental health issues;
- an older person at risk or in need;
- a disabled person at risk or in need;
If in any doubt call.
Who will deal with your concern?
The Referral and Assessment team is a first point of contact for referrals to children's social care services for children who are in need of protection or support to live safely within their family. The social workers in referral and assessment carry out assessments of children who have been referred for services where this is appropriate. A referral to the team can be made by anyone, including families, members of the public, or professionals such as GPs, health visitors, teachers, or the police. Professionals should refer to the process set out in information for practitioners.
A duty system is in operation, the duty worker will ask for some information and may signpost to other services that can help or undertake an assessment to determine what support or interventions are needed.
What will happen?
Where appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the immediate safety of the child/young person and anyone else who may be affected. We will talk to the child/young person, or a suitable representative on their behalf, to find out what is happening and work together to plan what we can do to help keep them safe and as independent as possible.
Where necessary we will investigate allegations of abuse with our partner agencies, and take appropriate action. We will always do what we can to prevent abuse happening again. We will keep everyone involved informed of the outcome and provide support where needed.