Children and young people - child protection
The council is responsible for investigating and providing help for children who have been abused or are at risk of abuse. Social workers and police officers work together to assess and protect children and prepare an individual response to their circumstances. In some cases this may involve a child protection case conference being called. If the child is seen to be at risk of abuse, the child's name will be placed on the local child protection register.
- assess and support children and families where child abuse is known or reported and where children are, or may be, at risk of abuse
- provide services that meet the standards set out in the Edinburgh & Lothians Child Protection Procedures
- liaise and work closely with other organisations such as police, health and education departments
Please contact your local Social Work office if you have any child protection issues or queries:
Livingston Social Work Centre
New Cheviot House
Tel. 01506 282252
Broxburn Social Work Centre
Strathbrock Partnership Centre
189a West Main Street
Tel. 01506 775666
Bathgate Social Work Centre
69 Whitburn Road
Tel. 01506 776700
Emergency out of hours contact number - 01506 281028 or 281029
Frequently Asked Questions
Click a question to see the answer.
Any information about you will be treated with care. Any details, including your name, will not be revealed unless the child's safety requires it. Even if you do not give your name, enquiries can still be made into the child's care and welfare. However, withholding your name may make it more difficult for those looking into these concerns. Any information you give may need to be shared with other professionals to ensure appropriate action is taken to protect the child.
Children can be abused in different ways. They can be physically injured, for example by punching, hitting, slapping, biting, kicking, being burned or cut. They can also be abused sexually, which means that they have experienced inappropriate sexual behaviour or language. Emotional abuse, where a child is constantly criticised, ignored or humiliated, also causes harm. Neglect is another form of abuse, where a child is not properly fed, clothed or sheltered or kept clean.
Children who have been abused rarely tell, but there are signs which may make you worry that a child has been abused. The child may have unexplained bruising, or bruising in an unusual place, seem afraid, quiet or withdrawn, be afraid to go home, or seem hungry, tired or unkempt. You may be concerned if a child is left alone or unsupervised, has too much responsibility for their age, is acting in a sexually inappropriate way or is misusing drugs or alcohol. You may also see behaviour in an adult which makes you worry about any children they care for. For example, an adult may be acting violently or sexually towards a child, misusing drugs or alcohol while caring for a child or be verbally abusive towards a child. You should report this type of behaviour. You do not have to give your name.
When you contact a professional about your concern that a child is being abused, unless the child is in immediate danger, they will make some initial enquiries before taking action. They will check whether the child is known and what information is held. All information will be treated seriously and acted upon. This may lead to immediate action or a more planned response. Following enquiries professionals may, for example: take immediate action to secure the safety of the child; provide support, help or advice to the family; provide a service to the child or family (for example help with childcare) and, where necessary, referral to another agency may be provided; conduct criminal proceedings; record the concern but take no further action at this time.
If you are worried about a child, you could contact a health visitor, teacher, nursery worker, family doctor, social worker, police officer or children's reporter.
If you wish to remain anonymous when you report a case of suspected child abuse, you can. However, it is helpful if you give your contact details as there might be further information you could give. The family will not be given your details unless you agree.
You will be advised of the process in the case of suspect child abuse, but the outcome of an investigation will remain confidential.