The NSPCC definition of child abuse is when a child is intentionally harmed by an adult or another child – it can be over a period of time but can also be a one-off action. It can be physical, sexual or emotional and it can happen in person or online. It can also be a lack of love, care and attention – this is neglect.

Types of Abuse

  • Physical abuse

    Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.   Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.

  • Emotional abuse

    Sexual abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.  It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or 'making fun' of what they say or how they communicate.  It may feature age developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.  These may include interactions that are beyond the child's developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.  It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.  It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.  Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone. 

  • Sexual abuse

    Sexual abuse involved forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether the child is aware of what is happening.  The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.  They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).  Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males.  Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

  • Neglect

    is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.  Neglect may occur during pregnancy because of maternal substance abuse.  Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: 
    ** provide adequate food and clothing, shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment
    ** protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
    ** ensure adequate supervision - including the use of inadequate caregivers 
    ** ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment 
    It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs. 
    Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused within a family, institution, or community setting by those known to them or a stranger. This could be an adult or adults, another child or children.  
    The signs and indicators listed below may not necessarily indicate that a child has been abused but will help us to recognise that something may be wrong, especially if a child shows a number of these symptoms or any of them to a marked degree. 
    Indicators of abuse (list not extensive):
    ** Failure to thrive and meet developmental milestones 
    ** Fearful or withdrawal tendencies 
    ** Aggressive behaviour 
    ** Unexplained injuries to a child or conflicting reports 
    ** Repeated injuries 
    ** Unaddressed illness or injuries 

  • Domestic abuse, stalking and harassment

    Moonstone Day Care understands that Domestic Abuse is a very sensitive subject and will be respectful to the victim’s needs.

    In Birmingham this is referred to as DASH, the same initiative in Wolverhampton is referred to as Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). Sadie Miller is our Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment Representative and has attended the relevant training.

    If a disclosure relating to domestic violence, stalking and harassment then the staff have a duty to inform the DASH representative or in their absence the DSL.

    Support and advice will be given to the victim along with the opportunity to make a referral.

    In the cases where the victim does not wish for a referral or prosecution to be made the settings DSL will make a referral to CASS/MASH as the setting has a duty to protect the children in the family.

  • Child sexual exploitation

    Moonstone Day Care understand that Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. If practitioners have any concerns, they are to report the Designated Safeguarding Lead who will take appropriate action.  

  • Forced Marriage

    A 'forced' marriage (as distinct from a consensual "arranged" one) is defined as one, which is conducted without the valid consent of at least one of the parties and where duress is a factor. Duress cannot be justified on religious or cultural grounds.

    At Moonstone we recognise that this is something all practitioners need to be aware of when dealing with parents, students and other practitioners. The setting’s DSL has also undertaken Forced Marriage training to help identify any concerns. If a practitioner has a concern, they should go to the Designate Safeguarding Lead.  


Moonstone follow guidelines set out by the UK Government, Birmingham and Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board to ensure we keep children safe from harm and those who may harm them. 
Our safeguarding procedures are based on Working Together to Safeguard Children (March 2018). This guidance sets out what should happen in any local area when a child or young person is believed to need support. Effective safeguarding arrangements should aim to meet the following two key principles: 
** Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility: for services to be effective, everyone and       organisation should play their full part; and 
** A child-centred approach: for services to be effective, they should be based on a clear       understanding of the needs and views of children. 
 Working Together to Safeguard Children defines Safeguarding as: 
* Protecting children from maltreatment. 
* Preventing impairment of children's health or development; 
* Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe    and effective care; and 
* Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. 

Each of our settings our setting has a Designated Senior Lead Practitioner and at least one assistant, one of whom is always contactable.  

The DSL is responsible for liaising with children’s services and the Local Safeguarding Children Team. The Lead practitioner attends safeguarding training which enables them to understand and respond to possible signs of abuse and neglect. All DSL’s attend designated DSL training yearly provided by the council along with attending the localities DSL networking meetings. This ensures that the DSL is up to date with their knowledge.  
As part of safeguarding children, our responsibilities include giving them the age-appropriate skills and knowledge, so they are empowered to keep themselves safe. Ways to do this include providing activities regarding stranger danger, they can also do this through talking to the children about keeping themselves covered up and how nappy times and toilet times are private occasions.  
Due to the many hours of care we provide, staff will often be the first people who sense that there is a problem. They may well be the first people in whom children confide about abuse. The nursery has a duty to be aware that abuse does occur in our society. Therefore, all staff members are trained and provided information in which will aid them in noticing signs and symptoms of physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as neglect. They are also made aware of how and to whom they should report if they have a concern. 

Who Can You Speak With

Each of our nurseries will a DSL and a Deputy DSL who you are able to speak with as a parent if you have concerns for a child and unsure what to do or who to speak with. In the reception area of our nursery, the named DSLs will be made clear as well as our Newsletters. 
If you are clear about to do and feel more comfortable speaking with someone external, see contacts below. 
Children's Advice & Support Service (CASS) - BirminghamT: 0121 303 1888 or via E: .ku.oc.tsurtsnerdlihcmahgnimrib%40SSAC
Outside of normal office hours please call 0121 675 4806LADO: 
Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together T: 01902 555392E: ku.vog.notpmahrevlow.eruces%40TSW
Outside of the above hours for emergencies on 01902 552999
If a concern arises around a Person in a Position of Trust that raises a query as to their suitability to work within the setting (staff members, Students, Volunteers etc) a referral to LADO will be made.
The Birmingham LADO Team T: 0121 675 1669 or via E: ku.oc.tsurtsnerdlihcmahgnimrib%40maetodaL
Wolverhampton's Local Authority Designated Officer, Kenny EdgarTel: 01902 550477Secure email:ku.vog.notpmahrevlow.eruces%40ODAL