Skip to content

Keeping children safe

The 1,001 critical days – ages 0-2 years

The Devon SCP are committed to working together with families early to ensure all children get the best start, we know that a babies early days will affect the rest of their lives. We also know that babies are most vulnerable to harm and neglect when we don’t notice what is happening in their worlds.

‘Today, the period from conception to age two is globally recognised as critical for building strong societies. We are fortunate that support for families in England is delivered by many committed midwives, health visitors, social workers and primary care practitioners, as well as thousands of committed volunteers. However, what is clear is that services are patchy, not joined up and often do not deliver what parents and carers need. This must change if we are to truly transform our society for the better.’
From The Best Start for Life A Vision for the 1,001 Critical Days The Early Years Healthy Development Review Report March 2021

The majority pregnant families, babies and toddlers will have the support they need from their own networks and communities and universal services. Some will require extra help and a few a network of services working together with parents to build safe and healthy lives. The earlier we notice and act to support the better chances of addressing difficulties and providing babies with what they need. See our Levels of Need framework for further guidance.

Please also be aware of the following information and guidance.

Relevant local policy, guidance, procedures, and protocols

Supplementary procedures

Training – learning and development

Resources on Devon SCP Website

If you are worried about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in Devon,
please complete the request for support online form.


If you think that the child is at risk of significant harm,
contact our Front Door directly by calling 0345 155 1071.


In an emergency call 999.