Keeping children safe

We have a responsibility to keep children and young people safe, secure their wellbeing, and help them achieve their full potential.

Help us keep children and young people safe

If you're concerned that a child or young person is at risk of harm or abuse, it’s vital that you tell someone.

We’re not asking you to make judgements or get involved in other people’s lives. We simply want to ensure that children get the help, support and protection they may need.

If you work with children and young people, you'll find more details about keeping them safe on the safeguarding children in Barnsley.

Who to tell

Call the police on 999 or (0114) 2202020 if you think the child is in immediate danger.

Call our integrated front door service on (01226) 772423 if you’re worried about a child, but they’re not in immediate danger (weekdays before 5pm).

Call our children's emergency duty team on (01226) 787789 if you’re calling after 5pm, at weekends or bank holidays.

You can report your concern anonymously if you prefer. If you do give us your details, we'll store them securely and keep them private.

If you don’t feel comfortable calling any of the above, tell a health visitor, a doctor or another professional you trust about your concerns.

What happens when we receive an allegation

If we receive details suggesting that a child or young person is suffering, or is likely to suffer, from neglect or any kind of abuse (physical, emotional or sexual).  Then we have a duty under the Children Act 1989 to investigate those claims.

Our social workers will investigate and explore any concerns you might have.  We'll get as much detail from you about harm, who might be responsible, when the harm has occurred and its impact on the child’s welfare.

They'll try to establish an understanding of who's important in the child’s life and details about the child and them. Where appropriate, they’ll discuss your concerns in detail with doctors, teachers, the police and any other professionals who may know the child or their family/carers. Within 24 hours, they’ll make a decision with their manager about what action needs to be taken.

If they feel a child's in immediate danger, it may be necessary to agree with the carers to move the child to a safe place.  They'll be looked after until the concerns have been investigated and assessed. This would often be with extended family members or friends. In some cases, social workers will seek an agreement with the parent(s).  Or go to court in order to place the child with foster carers or in a children’s home.

Working together to keep children and young people safe

Children and young people in need of protection are usually our most vulnerable children and those at greatest risk of social exclusion. To keep them safe, we'll work with all kinds of agencies and professionals.  This includes those in nurseries, schools, health, college, adult services and the voluntary sector.

When we believe a child or young person's at risk of significant harm, it’s essential that we work together with some or all of these agencies.  We also work with the child or young person and their family, to find out exactly what the problems are so that we can put the support in place to keep them safe.

Wherever possible, we try to keep families together.  By giving them help and support early, we can stop problems from escalating and prevent the need for intervention from specialist services.


  • Childline: 08001111
  • Samaritans: 08457 909090
  • NSPCC helpline freephone: 0808 800 5000
  • Sexual abuse helpline freephone: 0808 1000 900  
  • Barnsley Domestic Violence Helpline: 01226 249800
  • Women's Aid Helpline: 0808 2000 247

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