The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all children and young people in the community. In addition to outlining the formal procedures in place to manage reports of potential child abuse, these pages detail advice on how to spot the signs of such abuse, as well as suggesting positive ways of protecting children and making them feel safer. It is important to recognise that child abuse is not always physical or sexual. Emotional abuse can be just as damaging. The effects can last a lifetime, stripping a child of self-esteem and affecting their future relationships and happiness. Neglecting a child is also a form of abuse and can be harmful towards their growth and development.

A helpful cue card on safeguarding children, produced by the Local Safeguarding Children Board and a leaflet on the effects of domestic abuse on children has been produced.

If you are worried about a child, the right thing to do is not to keep it to yourself, but instead to contact Children's Services or the police. The Children Act (1989) makes it clear that a child's welfare is of paramount importance. The local authority and/or police have a duty to investigate where there is any concern for a child's well being.

Where there is a risk to the life of the child or a likelihood of serious immediate harm, the Police or Children's Services department would act quickly to secure their immediate safety.

Please note that although the person making the allegation is encouraged to provide their name to the Local Authority Children's Services department, their name will not be disclosed to members of the family in question without their consent.

If you are unsure that a child may be suffering but you are worried, or if you are concerned that a child has suffered harm, neglect or abuse, please contact Children's Services, or the Thames Valley Police directly:

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) - 01628 683150
Child Protection Conference Team - 01628 683202
Out of Hours Emergency Duty Service - 01344 786543
Thames Valley Police Emergency - 999
Thames Valley Police Non-Emergency - 101

In an emergency outside normal office hours, please contact the Police or the Emergency Duty Team immediately.

Go to Making a Complaint for information on our complaints procedure.

Threshold and priority criteria

The Multi Agency Threshold for Safeguarding the Child's Journey aim, is to prioritise the department's response by taking into account the level of need and risk. It is based on the Framework for Assessment of Children and Their Families, and Working Together to Safeguard Children and Their Families. The examples in this document have been included for illustrative purposes only. This listing is not exhaustive. Professional judgement will be needed to determine the relative priority of matters not described/illustrated in this framework.