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appear afraid, quiet or withdrawn
be 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
Not all children who are abused or neglected will display these signs. A child may also display some of these signs and symptoms for other reasons. Equally you may have other reasons to be worried about a child.
The adult may be:
It can be difficult to know if a child is being abused or at risk of abuse.
If you are worried about a child you should:
speak to someone such as a health visitor, nursery staff, teacher, family doctor, social worker or police officer
act promptly and give as much information as you can about the child and family
advise if you suspect the child is at risk of abuse - this information will need to be shared with other agencies
contact the police if you have immediate concerns
If you do not share your concerns, a child may be harmed.
You don't have to give your name and address, but by remaining anonymous you may unintentionally delay our investigations.
What happens next?
We will treat all information seriously and we will act upon all information received. For example we will:
If you have immediate concerns about a child please call 999.
What will happen to the child and family?
Once enquiries have been completed one or more of the following might happen:
no further action
support or advice offered to the family
referral to another agency for a service
referral to the appropriate legal system
Social Services (Kilmarnock)
The Johnnie Walker Bond
15 Strand Street
Social Services (Cumnock)
1 Greenholm Road
Social Services (Dalmellington)
33 Main Street
Social Services (Galston)
Emergency Social Work Service
Note: The Emergency Out Of Hours Social Work & Homelessness Services are available after 5pm until 9am, Monday to Friday and throughout the weekend, including public holidays. You will be put through to the Ayrshire Social Work out of Hours Response Service. A qualified Social Worker will assess the circumstances referred.