The Safeguarding Children Service consist of four Safeguarding Children Teams. Our practitioners are all qualified nurses and have backgrounds such as health visiting, school nursing, youth offending health and as such can provide advice and expertise on wide ranging safeguarding concerns.

We provide support via our Trust Wide Safeguarding Duty Hub where you can access instant safeguarding advice, support and case consultation.

The safeguarding children teams also offer Safeguarding Supervision, if you would like to arrange supervision please contact the team and we can make arrangements with you.

We also offer training, this is in form of the modular training packages that we update and change each year – Please see the Safeguarding Training pages for more information. We can also support your teams with specific training needs you identify within your service.

Types of Abuse

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 as a result of maternal substance abuse for example.

Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • Provide adequate food, clothing and 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 care-givers)
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs.

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 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 or 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 cyber bullying), 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 also occur alone.

Emotional abuse happens when a child is repeatedly made to feel worthless, unloved, alone or scared:

  • Also known as psychological or verbal abuse, it is the most common form of child abuse.
  • It can include constant rejection, hostility, teasing, bullying, yelling, criticism and exposure to family violence
  • The impacts of emotional abuse are just as harmful as physical abuse.



  • Most child abuse includes an element of emotional abuse, but it is recorded as a specific concern for just over 1 in 3 children who are the subject of a child protection plan or on a child protection register in the UK.
  • There were over 11,000 contacts to the NSPCC’s helpline and almost 5,000 Childline counselling sessions in 2020/21 about emotional abuse.
  • There were over 34,000 police-recorded offences related to emotional abuse in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2019/20.


Examples of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse symptoms vary but can invade any part of a person's life. Signs of emotional abuse include:

  • Yelling or swearing  
  • Name calling or insults; mocking
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Ignoring or excluding
  • Isolating
  • Humiliating
  • Denial of the abuse and blaming of the victim


Signs of emotional abuse

There might not be any obvious physical signs of emotional abuse or neglect. And a child might not tell anyone what's happening until they reach a 'crisis point'. That's why it's important to look out for signs in how a child is acting.

As children grow up, their emotions change. This means it can be difficult to tell if they're being emotionally abused. But children who are being emotionally abused might:

  • seem unconfident or lack self-assurance
  • struggle to control their emotions
  • have difficulty making or maintaining relationships
  • act in a way that's inappropriate for their age.


Children can be emotionally abused by anyone/anywhere:

  • parents or carers
  • family members
  • other adults
  • other children
  • anywhere including online


What to do when Emotional Abuse is suspected.

A child who is being emotionally abused might not realise what's happening is wrong. And they might even blame themselves. If a child talks to you about emotional abuse it's important to:

  • listen carefully to what they're saying
  • let them know they've done the right thing by telling you
  • tell them it's not their fault
  • say you'll take them seriously
  • don't confront the alleged abuser
  • explain what you'll do next
  • report what the child has told you as soon as possible.

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not 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 clothing.

Sexual abuse 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. Sexual abuse can occur both outside and within the home.

Contextual Safeguarding is an approach that aims to keep children safe from harm outside home. The approach involves healthcare professionals, youth workers, teachers and social workers to bus drivers, shopkeepers and park wardens working together with children to create safer contexts for children. Contextual Safeguarding considers intervening in and increasing safety in three contexts: at school, with friends and peers and in their neighbourhood.

Honour Based Violence

The terms ‘honour crime’, ‘izzat’ or ‘honour-based violence’ embrace a variety of crimes of violence (mainly but not exclusively against women), including assault, imprisonment and murder where the person is being punished by their family or community. They are being punished for  actually, or allegedly, undermining what the family or community believes to be the correct code of behaviour. In transgressing against this correct code of behaviour, the person shows that they have not been properly controlled to conform by their family and this is to the ‘shame’ or ‘dishonour’ of the family.

Forced Marriage

Forced marriage is defined as a marriage conducted without the full consent of both parties and where duress is a factor. There is a clear distinction between forced marriage and an arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, the families may take a leading role in arranging the marriage, but the choice whether or not to accept remains with the prospective spouses. In a forced marriage, one or both spouses do not consent to the marriage. The child could be facing physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional abuse to pressure them into accepting the marriage.

Forced marriage affects victims from many communities. The majority of cases reported to date in the UK involve South Asian families, but there have been cases involving families from across Europe, East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Some forced marriages take place in the UK with no overseas element, while others involve a partner coming from overseas or a British national being sent abroad.

The Safeguarding Children Service consist of four Safeguarding Children Teams

Safeguarding Children Knowsley and St Helens Community Health Services

Clare Handley - Named Nurse Safeguarding Children

Michelle Angel – Webb - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Amber Blackmore - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Kelley Hayde - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Sefton Community Health Services

Barry Greene – Named Nurse Safeguarding Children

Sarah Early - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Mandy Howe - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Kerry Woolvine - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Debs Dobson – MASH - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Liverpool Community Health Services

Laura Davies – Named Nurse Safeguarding Children

Lisa Beckitt Quinn - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Gill Bolan - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Amanda Crayden - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Julie Eaton - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Kate Lindo - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Michelle McElhinney - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Helen Mollard-Davies - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Julie O’Brien - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Ann Quinn - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Liverpool MASH Team

Lorraine Bulger  - MASH Health

Nicky Curtis - MASH Health

Mental Health Care Division

Lauren Whyte – Named Nurse Safeguarding Children

Lindsey Devine - Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Karen Dobson – Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse

Elizabeth Graves – Safeguarding Children Specialist Nurse