Skip to content.

Children and families at risk

Abuse can happen to anyone, but research shows that some children who have experienced abuse share similar characteristics. This means they may be more vulnerable.

Having one or more of these characteristics doesn’t automatically mean a child will experience abuse or neglect – and not having any of them isn’t a guarantee that a child will never be harmed.

But we do know that these challenges are often interlinked and the more problems a child and their family are experiencing, the greater the risk of abuse (Cleaver, Unell and Aldgate, 2011)1.

It’s important for professionals to understand risk and vulnerability factors so they can identify which families need extra support to help keep their children safe.

Domestic abuse

Explains what domestic abuse is, how to recognise it and how people who work with children can respond to it.

Find out more

Parental substance misuse

Defines problem alcohol and drug use and its effects on children. Outlines what works to support children whose parents with a substances use problem.

Find out more

Parental mental health problems

Explains what is meant by parental mental health problems and how they can have an impact on a child’s wellbeing. Outlines what works to support families where one or more parents/carers have a mental health problem.

Find out more

Looked after children

Sets out who looked after children are, why they may need additional help, and ways to provide them with the support they need.

Find out more

d/Deaf and disabled children

Find out why d/Deaf and disabled children are at an increased risk of being abused compared with their non-disabled peers and how you can protect them.

Find out more

Child abuse and neglect

What we know about different types of abuse and neglect covering, how to recognise and respond to concerns, prevention, legislation, guidance and policy.

Learn more