Help for those working with children and young people to:

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

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.


Guidance links

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

Related NICE guidance

Child maltreatment

Children's attachment

Harmful sexual behaviour

Domestic violence and abuse

Guidance in context

NICE 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:

Working together to safeguard children

The guideline is complemented by other guidance such as:

Keeping children safe in education (Department of Education)

Protecting children and young people: doctors' responsibilities (General Medical Council)

What to do if you're worried about a child

Additional resources

Responding to child abuse and neglect


Children who have experienced abuse or neglect could be offered therapy and their parents given the chance to take part in family support programmes.

Our new guideline aimed at professionals who may come into contact with children, gives advice on what to do when faced with child neglect or abuse.

It's about being supportive and listening

A, 16, London

Read the full blog post

Social care quick guides

image of the front cover of the getting help to overcome abuse quick guide


image of the front cover of the therapeutic interventions quick guide


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.

Read the quick guide


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.

This quick guide outlines some interventions that may help.

Read the quick guide

Helping to support young people after abuse


Angelica (not her real name) experienced abuse aged 12. She talks about her story and how she helped to develop NICE guidance.

"Being involved with the NICE guidelines has been a positive experience. I feel like the changes will help others receiving services as a result of neglect or abuse and it will help professionals better understand how to effectively help and support young people."

Read the full blog post