Child abuse and neglect guidance

Our guideline gives an overview of the research into child protection best practice. It includes advice on identifying and responding to physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect.

It supports practitioners carrying out assessments and providing early help and interventions.

It offers help to those working with children and young people to:

  • spot signs of abuse and neglect
  • know how to respond.

Recommended guidance

Recommendations should be considered in the context of the whole guideline but these links to specific sections may be helpful.

Guidance in context

Our guidance helps you to comply with the statutory function of the agency you work for under the Children Acts of 1989 and 2004 and the Children and Families Act 2014. It also helps you comply with the statutory legislation referenced within each section of the guideline:

The guideline is complemented by other guidance such as:

Social care quick guides

A quick, easy way to access key information from NICE on social care topics.

Getting help to overcome abuse

Abuse or neglect of a child or young person is very serious and against the law. If this has happened to you, it's important you get the help and support you need.

This quick guide will help you understand what support you should expect.

Therapeutic interventions after abuse and neglect

Abuse and neglect can have a long-lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. It’s important that professionals know how to respond.