Children and Society, 25(5) pp 406-416
The paper reviews public discourses and research on the safeguarding of other people’s children by adults at the neighbourhood level. There is much empirical evidence pointing to the existence of thriving informal communities of support and informal childcare for parents across the social classes. There appears to be less empirical evidence related to intervening with children and young people who may be at risk. Nonetheless, the limited evidence suggests that many neighbours, acquaintances and strangers do intervene, or say that they would. The paper concludes by considering the potential negative consequences of promoting the notion that safeguarding children is ‘everybody’s business’.