Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

If you suspect harm

If you suspect that a child has been significantly harmed, or is at risk of being significantly harmed, here are some important things to remember:

  • be alert to any warning signs that a child is experiencing
  • observe the child and make written notes as soon as you begin to have concerns - pay attention to changes in their behaviour, ideas, feelings and the words they use
  • have gentle, non-judgemental discussions with the child - expressing your concern that a child looks sad or unwell can result in disclosures
  • do not pressure the child to respond and do not ask questions that put words into a child's mouth
  • assure the child that they can come and talk to you when they need to, and listen to them when they do
  • when a child is being abused it does not go away and usually becomes more serious over time
  • seek expert advice by contacting the Child Safety Services.
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