For parents and carers

There may be times, as a parent or carer, when you need help, advice or information when caring for your child. This page provides links to sites where you can access information and get advice on a number of subjects. It also gives advice for when children's social care, the police or the NSPCC are involved with your family.

Child protection enquiries and child protection conferences

You may have been told that child protection enquires are being made about your child, or that a child protection conference is going to be held. The leaflets below will explain what this means and how you can make a complaint if you are not happy with the way that these were conducted.

Complaints about schools and academies

If you are concerned about your child's school, you should start by talking directly to the teachers or headteacher or, if necessary, the governing body or the local authority. If you are not satisfied with the responses you have received Ofsted may be able to help.

Preventing child sexual abuse

The NSPCC has launched a video exploring steps we can take to keep children safe from sexual abuse by thinking through the potential risks in children’s daily lives and taking action to protect them. Examples include: ensuring babysitters have trusted references; ensuring robust safeguarding procedures are in place in schools and other organisations; and thinking about the physical environment, making sure children are kept safe by checking on areas that are infrequently used or left unsupervised.

Online Sexual Harassment Guide

The Children's Commissioner has launched a guide for parents and carers on online sexual harassment and how they can support children to stay safe online.

The things I wish my parents had known…” draws together advice from 16 to 21-year-olds on how parents should manage tricky conversations around sexual harassment and access to inappropriate content, including pornography.

No child should have to stumble across harmful content online, and this organisation is taking action to try and tackle this issue. But, in the meantime the Children’s Commissioner wants to provide support and guidance for parents now on how to support your child if they do come across harmful content online.

An overriding message is that parents should start these challenging conversations early. Focus groups suggest broaching topics before a child is given a phone or a social media account, which is often around the age of 9 or 10. The guide focuses on issues such as:

  • Easily accessed online pornography
  • Pressure to send nude pictures
  • Sexualised bullying
  • Editing pictures and body image
  • Peer pressure

The aim for the guide was to pull together these challenging (often seemingly unapproachable) topics for parents in an accessible way.

The guide is a ‘starting point’ for parents to begin confronting the issues with their children. There are signposts to the excellent resources of other expert organisations, including NSPCC, Childnet and Internet Matters, throughout the guide.

This is the latest in a series of wider projects addressing online harms, culminating in a recent roundtable with tech companies, holding them to account for the effects of services they provide as part of the Children’s Commissioner’s contribution to the government’s new Online Safety Bill.

This work has been bolstered by the support of ministers Nadhim Zahawi MP, Secretary of State for Education, Nadine Dorries MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and also Children and Families Minister Will Quince MP.

The guide and summary poster can be found here.

Private fostering

A private fostering arrangement is one that is made privately (not through the local authority), for the care of a child under 16 years (or under 18 if the child has a disability), by someone other than a parent or close relative with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more.

To help keep children safe and support families, all parents and private foster carers must notify the local authority of their intention to enter into a private fostering arrangement.  If you think this applies to you contact the MASH and they will be able to provide further guidance and if necessary arrange for someone to visit you to discuss the proposed arrangements.

Useful contacts


If you think that bullying is just a part of everyday school life, you're wrong. No-one deserves to be bullied and you shouldn't ignore the problem.

Online safety

Think U Know is a set of resources developed by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre at website: to help educate young people, parents and teachers about safe and positive use of the internet.

Know IT All is a set of resources developed by Childnet International at website: to help educate parents and teachers about safe and positive use of the internet.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

CEOP work to encourage all organisations that have an online presence where children and young people congregate to adopt the CEOP 'Report Abuse' mechanism.  You can report abuse at website:

Family Lives

A national charity that works for, and with, parents. It works to offer help and support through an innovative range of free, flexible, responsive services.
tel: 0808 800 2222


Helps all kinds of families to cope with a wide range of issues including poverty, abuse, and homelessness.
tel: 01268 520224


Gives information for parents on a range of ways children can be bullied including cyber bullying and gives advice on keeping children safe online.
tel: 020 7730 3300

Missing Person Helpline

tel: 0500 700 700 (24 hours)

National Drugs Helpline

tel: 0800 77 66 00 (24 hour free advice)

NHS Direct

tel: 0845 4647


Offers some helpful information for parents and carers on a range of issues, such as internet safety, protecting children at home and positive parenting tips.
tel: 0808 800 5000

Parents against Child Sexual Exploitation (PACE)

Free E learning course for parents and carers on Child Sexual Exploitation aimed at raising awareness, identifying signs and providing advice on what to do if you have concerns. Go to the website at and follow the simple registration process.

Women's Aid Federation

The key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. Support a network of over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the UK.
tel: 08457 023 468

Parents Centre

Information and support for parents on how to help with your child's learning, including advice on choosing a school and finding childcare.

Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme (Sarah's Law)

Nottinghamshire Police provide information about child sex offenders under the terms of the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme, often known as Sarah's Law. This scheme allows anyone concerned about others working, living or in contact with children to raise their concerns with the police. This may include a parent concerned about their new partner or a friend of the family.

Once a concern is raised, the police will carry out background checks and, where appropriate, inform the person best placed to protect the child or children concerned from harm.

Please see the link to the Nottinghamshire Police website for more information about the scheme.

Nottinghamshire Police: Information about the 'Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme'

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