Report concerns about a child
Fill in the form below or call us in confidence on 0345 2000 109 (office hours) or 0330 333 7475 (evenings and weekends).
If you think a child is in immediate danger, call 999.
Front Door Service
The Front Door Service provides access to all services for children and families in North Tyneside.
If you have concerns about the safety or welfare of a child in North Tyneside the Front Door Service is the first point of contact for everyone.
To contact the Front Door Service call 0345 2000 109.
Worried about someone working/volunteering with children?
The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) looks at allegations made against professionals in the children’s workforce (including paid employees and volunteers).
Confidential information is information of some sensitivity which is not already lawfully in the public domain, or readily available from another public source, and which has been shared in a relationship where the person giving the information understood that it would not be shared with others.
For example, a teacher may know that one of his pupils has a parent who misuses drugs. That is information of some sensitivity, but it may not be confidential if it is widely known or has been shared with the teacher in circumstances where the person understood it would be shared with others. However, if it is shared with the teacher by the pupil in a counselling session, for example, it would be confidential.
Legally, where there is a confidential relationship, anyone receiving confidential information is under a duty not to pass it on.
However, this duty is not absolute and information can be shared without breaching the duty if:
- The information is not confidential in nature.
- The person to whom the duty is owed has given explicit consent.
- There is an overriding public interest in disclosure.
- Sharing is required by a court order or other legal obligation.
How we work with families
In 2017 North Tyneside Children's Services started to use Signs of Safety in the way that we work with children and their families. From our early help services through to health visitors, schools, and children's social work teams, all the workers have signs of safety in mind when they are working with you. Signs of Safety practice started in Australia and is being used in many countries now. We believe that this way of practice fits our ambitions of how we want to work with families. We know that parents want the best for their children and they want to keep their children safe, but there are times when this can be more difficult to do.
Signs of Safety is about you, your child and your network (the people you trust) working together so that your child can be safe and well. Rather than professionals like social workers, teachers or health visitors having all the answers or telling you what you should do, Signs of Safety helps us to recognise that you are the experts in your lives and this way of working helps us all to put you and your children at the heart of assessments and planning.
Your family is key in working with professionals to understand what we are worried about (for your children) and why, as well as understanding all of the good things that your family does to care for your children and keep them safe (we call this strengths and safety). When we understand what we are worried about and what is working well, families and workers will agree what needs to happen in order for your children to be safe and well cared for so that everyone is clear about what support and help you and your family need.
The difference you might experience:
When we meet with you, your children, and the people you trust, we will ask everyone questions like:
What do you think is working well?
What are you worried about?
What do you think needs to happen for things to be better for your children?
We will use language that is easy to understand to sum up our worries and what we think could happen to your child if things don't change. We call these Worry Statements or Danger Statements. We will be clear about what life needs to look like for your child so that people are no longer worried. We call these Safety Goals or Success Goals. There might still be times where professionals have worries about children that families don't share and when this happens, we need to find ways to work together so that everyone can see that the children are safe.
We will talk to you about your network - the people who are important to you and your child. We will talk to these people and arrange for us all to meet at a network meeting. This meeting is used to help you and your network think about what you can all do to keep your children safe and well. When you agree on what people can do to support you and your children, we call this a safety plan. We will work with you and your network to help you show everyone that your safety plan works.
Your safety plan is different from the plan that is agreed in other meetings with professionals; we call this other plan a 'Timeline' or 'Action Plan'; both the safety plan and timeline (or action plan) are important and you will have a copy of both. The timeline (or action plan) will show you what is happening each week while professionals are working alongside you. It might include tasks for workers to do with you, your children, and your network; it will show you when meetings are happening; and it will show you how much progress has been made.
Talking to Children:
Talking to children and understanding their experience is at the heart of Signs of Safety. It is important that your child has the chance to tell us about the good things in their life, anything they might be worried about, and what they would like to see happen so that they can feel safer. We might use something like 'My 3 Houses' to help us understand what life is like for children and young people. We might also use something called 'My Safety House' to involve your child in making plans so that they feel safe. There are lots of other useful and creative tools that workers might use, if you want to know more about this, please speak to the main worker for your family.
We will work alongside parents to develop 'words and pictures' so that you can explain to your children what has been happening and what people are doing to change things for them. This is a really important piece of work especially when there has been a big change in your child's life (e.g. your child lives with someone else for a while or an important adult leaves the family home). It is important that you can explain this to your child so that they are not left to 'fill in the gaps' because sometimes they can fill those gaps with blame, fear, and mistrust. You don't have to be an artist to complete words and pictures, we use stick figures only, so that everyone feels confident to draw some pictures along with the explanation agreed between parents and the main worker for the children.