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What is Child Abuse?

It is everyone's responsibility to protect children.

All children have a right to grow up in a caring, safe environment. All adults have a responsibility to protect children. this may be:- parents, family members, friends, neighbours, professionals, members of the public.

There are different types of abuse:

Physical Injury - being hit, kicked or punched

Physical Neglect - not being properly fed or clothed, poor hygiene

Sexual Abuse - inappropriate sexualbehaviour or language

Emotional Abuse - constantly criticised, ignored or humiliated 

What might make you concerned

Children rarely tell if they are being abused. However, there may be signs which make you concerned and may be an indication of a child being abused or neglected.

The child may:

  • have unexplained bruising or bruising in an unusual place
  • appear afraid, quiet or withdrawn
  • appear afraid to go home
  • appear hungry, tired or unkempt
  • be left unattended or unsupervised
  • have too much responsibility for their age
  • be acting in a sexually inappropriate way
  • be misusing drugs or alcohol

The adult may:

  • be acting in a violent or sexual manner towards a child
  • be misusing drugs or alcohol while caring for a child

These are some examples of what might make you worried,or you may know of other things that are happening which mean you need to take action to protect the child.

What to do if you are concerned

If you are concerned about a child, speak to someone.

Make sure you:

  • ACT promptly

  • NOTE your concerns

  • GIVE as much information as you know about the child and family  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                What might happen if you do not report your concern

If you have a worry about a child and do not share your concerns a child may be harmed.

If you are worried or know of a child who could be at risk of being abused, you can talk to staff at the Child Protection Unit, or local social work office.  Alternatively, you can phone the Out of Hours Standby Service during the evening or weekends to talk to someone about your concerns

The number for Standby Service and Social Work Services can be found below -


Social Work Dept Day Time No. Out of Hours No.

Glasgow City Council

0141 305 6706

0800 811 505


01475 714100

0800 811 505

East Renfrewshire  -  Clarkston

0141 577 4000

0800 811 505

East Renfrewshire  -  Barrhead

0141 577 8300

0800 811 505


0300 300 1199

0800 811 505

East Dunbartonshire

0141 777 3000

0800 811 505

West Dunbartonshire

0141 562 8800

0800 811 505

* North Lanarkshire

01698 332186

0800 121 4114

* South Lanarkshire

01698 453904

0800 678 3282



Other Local Authorities 

*North and *South Lanarkshire each have different contact numbers - please see list above.