Safeguarding is the protection of vulnerable adults or children from abuse or neglect.

The law states that a vulnerable adult is a person who is or who may be in need of community care services because of their:

  • Mental health
  • Disabilities
  • Age
  • Illness
  • A person who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself
  • A person who is unable to protect him or herself against serious harm or being taken advantage of

For more detailed advice about Safeguarding in North Yorkshire visit:

North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children's Board 

North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adult's Board 

What to do if you are worried about a child or young person

If you are worried about a child or a young person under the age of 18, you should ring North Yorkshire County Council's customer services centre on 01609 780780. This is available outside of office hours. The Minicom number is 01609 779838.

All calls are taken seriously and can be taken in confidence.

In an emergency, always ring 999.

What happens when you call?

The customer services centre will take more details from you. Experienced staff will then decide whether action needs to be taken and, if so, how quickly. 

If you decide to remain anonymous this will be respected. However, it is helpful for the investigating social worker to be able to share your concerns openly, so we do ask callers to consider this option.

Following an investigation, staff from the children and young people's service will take one of the following actions:

  • Decide no further action is required;
  • Offer the family help or advice to resolve any difficulties; and / or
  • Call a meeting to decide what further steps should be taken. This meeting is known as an initial child protection conference. It is held whenever there is good reason to be concerned that a child may have been abused, or is in some way at risk of being harmed.