He is deeply concerned for vulnerable children.

Is this correct? Or is there a better preposition to use instead of for? What exactly does this phrase mean?

What about "He is deeply concerned with vulnerable children"?

  • 1
    Concerned is usually followed by "about" although "with" and "on" are also grammatically correct (and "in" with a different meaning). Regarding "for" I'm not sure but you can check the usage diagram at goo.gl/3qHfP... Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 18:54

3 Answers 3


There is a few variation to be used with to be concerned.

One can be concerned with something. This would have a meaning similar of to deal with

I am concerned with daily maintenance of our machines.

One can be concerned about something/someone. This would be the preposition which could be use in your case, but it would give it a meaning of caring about.

He is deeply concerned about vulnerable children

Of course, for seems to be used, although I rarely heard it (which is in no way an indication of the frequency it could be found), it is used.

EDIT: See Dan Ray's answer for a use with the for preposition.


To have a concern for something means there is something your attention is on, something you're committed to. I have a concern for my boss's satisfaction with my performance, the amount of time I spend on Stack Exchange sites notwithstanding.

  • But is 'He is concerned for vulnerable children' acceptable? Is it commonly used? Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 16:10

'Concerned for' is certainly idiomatic, but has a different meaning from 'show concern for/have a concern for', which means 'have a deep interest in / compassion for'. Like 'concerned about', it means 'worried about':

concerned [adjective] {worried} [+ about, less commonly for]

  • I'm a bit concerned about/for your health.

[Cambridge Dictionary; modified slightly]

  • Her family was very concerned for her safety.


So 'concerned for' is acceptable here, but primarily indicates worry rather than compassion. 'Have a concern for' can equally indicate worry and/or compassion, so it works, but is ambiguous.


'Concerned with' means something different, 'involved with':

concerned with something: interested in something / dealing with something

  • The public is increasingly concerned with how food is produced. [here, the 'worry' sense informs]
  • Mathematics is concerned essentially with understanding abstract concepts. [no worry hinted at here]

[Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary; modified slightly]

So 'deeply concerned with' isn't really idiomatic, and 'He is concerned with vulnerable children' doesn't mean he has a concern for them.

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