Factors that may be of Concern

Factors of concern that could mean a child might have experienced or is experiencing neglect or abuse

  • Children who are left alone at home or where those with parental responsibility fail to ensure that they are supervised sufficiently
  • There may be physical evidence of abuse such as bruises, cigarette burns, burns or other physical injuries or the child is reluctant to change for sporting activities, due to hiding of bruises, wounds, burns or scars
  • Poor bonding between the child and their parent/adult carer
  • Self harm
  • The child or young person having sexualised behaviour or a sexual knowledge beyond that expected of a child of the same age, developmental ability
  • The child or young person showing violent behaviour towards other children, adults, animals or objects
  • Children allowed to roam the streets for prolonged periods with the adults responsible for them showing lack of concern about their safety or whereabouts
  • The child has poor social skills or is unable to do things independently which a child of similar age and mental capacity would do e.g. starting school in nappies if there is no impairment causing it; starting school unable to use and/or understand spoken language when there is no physical or sensory impairment which may be significant to it; failure to be able to feed themselves at the right age where there is no apparent physical or learning disability which would be the reason
  • The child is failing to thrive or to attain the usual milestones associated with his or her development
  • The child may show regression in development or independence e.g. may suddenly revert to wetting the bed
  • The child may be significantly overweight or underweight and the parent/adult carer are not showing concern
  • The child may forage for food or steal it

Factors of Concern that a Child may be Experiencing Abuse or are Being Subjected to Abuse

  • The child may forage for food or steal it
  • The child may be engaging in stealing or antisocial behaviour
  • The child or young person may be secretive about friendships or their whereabouts
  • The child may be reluctant to invite friends home or parent/carers may ban people from visiting the house
  • The child may have poor school attendance and/or poor or disruptive behaviour when at school
  • The child may have low self-esteem
  • The child runs away from home (including placements away from home such as foster care, hospital, educational and residential settings) or considers doing so
  • Parents/carers may fail to engage with others: such as neighbours, extended family, teachers, GP, social worker etc. or fail to turn up to appointments or to comply with agreed courses of action for safeguarding the child
  • A child or younger person shows/expresses concern for the safety of a sibling or other person who may be at risk of being abused
  • A child or younger person shows/expresses fear of someone else (either an adult or another child or young person)
  • The child acts out a particular role using violence or inappropriate behaviour e.g. one of the roles of a parent/carer or teacher
  • The child or their carer may give implausible reasons for a child’s injury, behaviour, actions or whereabouts
  • Parent’s/carers fail to do anything about ill fitting equipment e.g. afo’s, sleep systems, inappropriate splinting,

Rough handling, extreme behaviour modification e.g. deprivation of liquid, medication, food or clothing

Use to answer question 11.1 vii of the Care Certificate

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