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Responding to disclosures from children and young people

If a child in your care discloses something to you, related to the internet and the use of technology, then the same reporting procedures used for any safeguarding incident offline can and should be followed in a workplace environment. 

  1. If you are worried about a young person for any reason then it is important to tell someone straight away. 
  2. Ensure that you are familiar with reporting procedures in your setting and that confidentiality is not promised to the child in question. 
  3. Report immediately to the designated person, for example the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), so that the correct steps are taken from the start.
  4. Ensure that the child's own words are used and are not changed in any way. 
  5. The child or young person in question may want to accompany you when you make your report, to be part of the process.

Where to report online concerns or risks

Grooming or other illegal behaviour

If you want to report someone who is behaving suspiciously online towards a child, you should in an emergency contact the emergency services by calling 999, or otherwise make a report to the National Crime Agency's CEOP Command (formerly the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre).

Criminal content online

If you encounter child sexual abuse content online, you should report this to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).

Young people under 18 can report nude images or videos of themselves which have been shared online to Childline

Criminal content in the UK includes child sexual abuse images, criminally obscene adult content as well as non-photographic child sexual abuse images.

Online content which incites hatred on the grounds of race, religion and sexual orientation should now be reported to True Vision, which tackles all forms of hate crime, including those on the grounds of disability and transgender identity. True Vision will give you information on content which indicates hatred and how to report it.  

Media content inappropriate for children

If you want to make a complaint about an advert, television or radio programme, film, newspaper, magazine, video game or other type of content that you think it unsuitable for children to see or hear, you can report it through ParentPort

Terrorism related content

Report terrorism related content to the police’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit at

Reporting to services (eg Facebook or Twitter)

Many popular online services also have some really useful help and advice areas, as well as ways to report content that is not allowed on the site (eg cyberbullying or naked photos).

Find out more about reporting tools on these sites: