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What about the safety of children?

Children shouldn’t be left alone at home. It is not against the law to leave a child unattended at any age but it is against the law to leave children in circumstances which put them in any kind of danger. So, for example, leaving a young child alone for several hours could place them in physical danger, emotional harm through loneliness and fear and neglect by not providing carers for them.

You have a duty to report if you noticed or suspecting the child abuse. Phone free, 24-hour Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000, or contact your local social services or police.

What is considered child abuse?

Children can be abused is either of the following ways: Physical - sexual - emotional - neglect

Children can be abused by family members, by people they know or occasionally by strangers.  Social services and the police have a collective responsibility to investigate allegations of child abuse.

Social Services need to verify that a child is protected and offer assistance to a family in need. If there is sufficient evidence, the police are responsible to initiate a process against an abuser.

Both organisations operate within guidelines established throughout Northern Ireland. These guidelines establish what will happen when an allegation is made with reference to child protection.

Making a referral.

Anyone can make a referral. Contact:

Gateway Team  or    BME Health Visiting Team
Social Services   
Brownlow HSC Centre
1 Legahory Centre
Craigavon   BT65 5BE
Tel. 028 3834 3011 Open Mon-Fri 9am 5pm

Social Services
Portadown Health Centre
Tavanagh Ave
Tel 028 3833 4400

Out of hours Social Service
Craigavon Area Hospital duty social worker
Tel 028 3833 4444

Banbridge Police Station
14 Castlewellan Road   
Banbridge  BT32 4A     
Tel 028 4066 2222      

Lurgan Police Station
62 Church St
Lurgan BT66 6HD
Tel.  028 3832 5144

Portadown Police Station
17-19 Edward St
Tel 028 38332424

Confidential telephone 0800 669 999 

Social services and the police can provide further information and counselling. You can obtain a summary of child protection procedures from the Social Services offices indicated

The following voluntary agencies can provide additional information

Citizens Advice Bureau
Lurgan Tel 028 3832 3571  
Portadown   tel 028 3835 3260


NEXUS  028 3835 0588

NSPCC  028 3839 9951

NSPCC  Help Line 0808 800 5000

CHILD LINE  0800 11 11