You may have concerns about a child who may be suffering or is currently at risk of suffering child abuse or neglect if there are: 
  • indicators of physical abuse (inflicted injury), sexual emotional abuse or neglect 
  • multiple risk factors present 
  • escalation of abuse or neglect 
  • indicators of family and domestic violence. 
Due to the cumulative and ongoing nature of the majority of child abuse and neglect such concerns will not usually require an immediate crisis response unless the child is very young and/or there is clear indication of harm. 

A planned and consultative approach will usually achieve better short and longer-term outcomes for the child and the family. 

Your first actions should be to:

  1. Refer or provide emergency treatment for any injuries. 
  2. Respond to the child and parent or carer in a non-judgmental and sensitive manner.  
  3. Consider and address any cultural or disability issues. 
  4. Gather, document and record as much factual information as possible about the child, the family and their background. 
  5. Discuss any concerns and issues around information sharing and consent with an appropriate health worker or your line manager. 
  6. Complete the assessment, documenting your concerns. 
  7. Unless there are clear counter-indicators, share your assessment and your concerns with the child and/or their family. 
Refer to Guidelines for Protecting Children 2015 (PDF 1.3MB) for further detailed information.
Last Updated: 27/10/2020