Carmarthenshire Local Safeguarding Children Board (CLSCB)
Carmarthenshire Local Safeguarding Children Board (CLSCB) arrow Cymraeg
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Telephone: (01267) 246 544
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What is child abuse?

Child abuse can take many forms, only some of which have visible signs. If you think a child is being harmed in some way and need to talk to someone about it, or if you would like more information about child protection in Carmarthenshire, please contact your local children’s services office.

Emotional abuse

Occurs when parents fail to show their children sufficient love or attention or when they threaten, taunt or belittle them, causing them to become nervous, withdrawn, aggressive, or disturbed in their behaviour. Some indications are:
  • Very low self-esteem
  • Lack of any sense of fun
  • Excessively clingy or attention seeking behaviour
  • Over reactions to mistakes or over anxious to please
  • Substantial failure to reach potential in learning
  • Self harming; compulsive rituals
  • Unusual patterns of response to others showing emotion
Physical abuse

Occurs when parents or adults deliberately inflict injuries on a child, or do not protect the child from injury. Some indications are:
  • Unexplained injuries - bruises, scars, bites or burns, particularly if they are recurrent injuries of varying ages and types
  • Child shows fear about returning home
  • Withdrawal from physical contact
  • Bruising on very young babies
Sexual abuse

Occurs when an adult or older child involves a child in sexual activity to which the child does not or cannot consent, because of his or her age or understanding. Some indications are:
  • Withdrawn, fearful or aggressive behaviour to other children or adults
  • Poor concentration at school or learning problems which do not match intellectual ability
  • Behaviour with sexual overtones inappropriate to age
  • Complaints of genital itching or pain
  • Unexplained abdominal pain
  • Distrust of a familiar adult or anxiety about being left with a particular person, relative, babysitter or lodger
  • Unexplained gifts or money
  • Apparent secrecy
  • Wetting day or night when previously dry and clean
  • Severe sleep disturbances or nightmares
  • Chronic illness, especially throat infections
  • Venereal disease or other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Marked reluctance to take part in physical activity or to change clothes for PE, for example
  • Phobias or panic attacks
  • Self-mutilation or attempted suicide
  • Running away from home
Persistent or severe neglect

Occurs when a parent fails to meet a child's essential needs for food, clothing, shelter or medical care, or when children are left without proper supervision which leaves them unsafe or unprotected. Some indications are:
  • Consistently unkempt, dirty appearance
  • Medical needs of child unmet
  • Delay in the child's development without other clear cause
  • Lack of responsiveness with peers or adults in everyday social situations
  • Behaviour such as head banging or rocking
  • Repeated failure by parents/carers to prevent injury
  • Consistently inappropriately clothed for the weather
  • Hazardous living conditions
  • Failure to attend any sort of appointments
  • Non-organic failure to thrive
It is important to remember that very few adults harm children deliberately and most often when harm does happen, families need support, not punishment or the removal of their children. Services are aimed at children and families and focus on:
  • Positive outcomes for children
  • Listening to children
  • Working with families
  • Sharing information with families
  • Providing advice and support for families
  • Being sensitive to race, ethnicity and culture
  • Respecting an individuals human rights

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