1 How to report
If you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.
Contact us if it is less urgent and you are worried about the welfare of a child or children under 18 years of age living in West Sussex - for example, if you want us to make sure a child is safe or tell us about a child's general welfare.
2 What happens after you contact us
When we hear that a child might be being harmed in some way we make enquiries, usually starting by visiting the child and family. If a visit would put the child at more risk then we will make enquiries first.
We normally investigate with the police and try to speak to all other professionals who may know the child and their family.
If we are concerned about the future safety of the child we may hold a meeting, called a child protection conference. This meeting involves all of the professionals who know the child and family, the parents and, for part of the meeting if they are old enough (usually over 10 years of age), the child.
If the child cannot attend then it is important that someone makes sure their views are fed into the meeting.
3 Unresolved child protection issues
If there are unresolved child protection issues then the child's name may be made the subject of a Child Protection Plan. This is a confidential list of children living with their families within the county about whom there are child protection concerns.
Each of these children has a plan to reduce the possibility of harm to them. The list ensures professional staff are aware of the risk to the child and can work with the child and family to reduce this.
The plan is reviewed within 3 months and, if issues have been resolved, then the child's name could be taken off the list. If not, it is reviewed again at 6-monthly intervals until the objectives of the plan are accomplished.
This process is governed by the Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Procedures. The procedures are available on the Pan Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures Manual website.