Children with SEN and disabilities

Safeguarding for children with SEND involves recognising their unique vulnerabilities and ensuring they receive adequate protection from abuse and neglect. It requires a tailored approach that considers their individual needs, abilities and communication preferences.

Children with SEND may face specific challenges and risks including:

  • communication barriers and difficulty in expressing themselves or reporting abuse
  • need for daily care and support from others which can increase risk of abuse
  • physical disabilities which make them more vulnerable
  • cognitive disabilities which mean they may struggle to understand boundaries, making them more susceptible to exploitation or grooming
  • risks in education settings or risks around interacting with professionals and caregivers who may lack awareness or training in recognising and addressing safeguarding concerns for children with SEND
  • support service gaps or limited access to healthcare or medical services may exacerbate existing health conditions or neglect of medical needs
  • children with SEND may exhibit changes in behaviour which are typical indicators of abuse that are overlooked or misunderstood due to their disability

If you have safeguarding concerns

You can learn more about reporting safeguarding concerns on our dedicated webpages.

Resources and support

The SEND Hub (Local Offer) provides support for children and young people with SEND, parent carers and professionals for a range of topics including:

  • financial support for parent carers
  • preparing for adulthood
  • support through education
  • EHCPs
  • links to local SEND services

The NSPCC website also provides guidance, training and resources on safeguarding children with SEND including how to stay safe online.