What to do if you're worried about a young person
If you think a child or young person is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, it’s important to respond appropriately.
Start a conversation
Think carefully about how to talk to children and young people if you think they are in an unhealthy relationship.
You may decide to have a conversation with the child, where you voice your concerns about a relationship they are in. However this may not always be appropriate. It may make them feel they are being criticised and they may become defensive.
It might be more appropriate to have a group discussion about relationships in general, making it clear that you're available to talk if anyone has a concern.
Instead of having a long conversation about the topic, you might find it easier to have regular short chats over a period of time. This gives children and young people a chance to process the issues you've discussed.
If you need advice about how to proceed, contact our helpline on 0808 800 5000, report your concern online or email us at email@example.com
Remember to listen carefully to what the child or young person is saying. Show them that you value their point of view and don’t talk over them. Remain calm and non-judgemental.
> Find out more about how to respond to children who are talking about abusive experiences
Make sure children and young people know who to speak to
Children and young people may need time to think about things before they decide to speak out. So make sure they know who they can talk to if they need support or are worried about anything.
If a child or young person needs confidential help and advice, direct them to Childline. Calls to 0800 1111 are free and children can contact Childline online or get information and advice about healthy and unhealthy relationships on the Childline website.
If you think a child is in immediate danger, contact the police on 999. If you're worried about a child but they are not in immediate danger, you should share your concerns.
- Follow your organisational child protection procedures. Organisations that work with children and families must have safeguarding policies and procedures in place.
- Contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Our trained professionals will talk through your concerns with you and give you expert advice.
- Contact your local child protection services. Their contact details can be found on the website for the local authority the child lives in.
- Contact the police.
Services will risk assess the situation and take action to protect the child as appropriate. This may include making a referral to the local authority.
> Find out more about recognising and responding to abuse
> Find out more about protecting children from bullying