1 Raise a concern
If you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.
Most people find the best way to tell us about a less immediate concern is to complete our online form.Tell us about your concerns (external link)
You can report anonymously, but it is helpful to have your contact details in case there is additional information we need.
If you are reporting a concern as a professional, you must report using the same form and leave your details.
Other ways to contact us
Sending us the information on our online form is the best way of reporting your concerns but, if you prefer, you can call us on:
- Phone: 01403 229900 (Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm)
Professionals must use the online form unless there is an emergency safeguarding concern.
For emergencies only
If you require the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) outside of office hours (5.00pm-9.00am weekdays) or at weekends and bank holidays, please call 033 022 26664.
If the Emergency Duty Team line is unavailable and you need to report an emergency safeguarding concern, please call 07711 769657. Note that this number does not accept texts.
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
If you have a concern about an adult working or volunteering with children who may have behaved inappropriately, please report it to the LADO team using the referral form on the West Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership website. Return your completed form to LADO@westsussex.gov.uk.
If you’re not ready to make a referral, but would like to speak to the LADO for advice, please contact the team:
2 What happens next
- We will 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 will 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 with all the professionals who know the child, their parents and family. This is called a child protection conference.
- The child may attend part of the meeting if they are old enough (usually over 10 years of age). If the child cannot attend then it is important that someone makes sure their views are fed into the meeting.
- If there are ongoing concerns, we may decide to add the child's name to a confidential list of children we are concerned about. Each of the children on this list has a Child Protection 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.
- We will review the plan within three months. If issues have been resolved we might take the child's name off the list. If not, we will review it again at six-monthly intervals until the objectives of their plan are accomplished.
- This process is governed by the Pan-Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding procedures.
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 three 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 six-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.