North Ayrshire residents urged to keep an eye out for harm to children

30th July, 2021 1:25 pm

Now we are well into the school holidays with restrictions lifting, many of us are now enjoying some summertime fun with our loved ones.

However, during lockdowns and throughout the pandemic, some children and young people may have experienced harm.

In a new 7-week ‘For Kids’ Sake…’ campaign, North Ayrshire Child Protection Committee – in partnership with Child Protection Committees Scotland – is asking everyone to look and listen carefully for signs that all is not well for a child, and to pay full attention if a child or young person’s behaviour has changed.

An awareness-raising campaign has launched on the Child Protection Scotland and North Ayrshire Child Protection Committee social media channels, with residents reminded what to do if they have concerns about the welfare of a young person.

CPCScotland Chair Alan Small said: “Most children and young people are really looking forward to having sleepovers, day trips, staycations and time with grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and family friends in the school break.“Sadly, some of those children will have been through a rough time during the pandemic.

“It’s only now that we are beginning to spend significant time with children we’ve seen very little of during lockdown months, so it’s only now that we might notice or sense that something is wrong.

“We’re simply asking people in North Ayrshire to be alert for clues that harm has happened. Children can take a long time to say anything if they’ve experienced abuse or neglect, but you can listen carefully, look out for signs or pay attention to signals that there’s a problem. If your gut tells you something is wrong, it’s important not to ignore it. By raising your concerns you might help something worse from happening to a child you know.”

He added: “Unfortunately, the summer holidays can

also be a difficult time for children and young people who are at risk of abuse or neglect at home.”

Independent chair of North Ayrshire Child Protection Committee, John Paterson, said: “Sadly, the summer holidays are not always a fun and carefree time for those children who are most at risk of harm.

“School can often be the safest place to be for these young people, and without that daily escape the school holidays can be difficult and stressful.

“It’s so important that all adults in our communities keep their eyes open for signs of abuse or neglect in young people this summer and report any concerns that they might have.

“Even if those concerns turn out to be unfounded, it’s always better to say something than do nothing. Children aren’t always able to speak up if they if are experiencing abuse or neglect – or may not even recognize that what is happening to them is abuse or neglect – so it’s up to us all to keep an eye out and be the voice for those children when we feel something is not quite right.”

To report concerns about a child, call North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership on 01294 310300 (office hours), 0800 328 7758 (evening, weekends and public holidays), or call the Police on 101.

If you believe that they may be in immediate danger, please call 999.

For further information on the subject, visit the, North Ayrshire Child Protection Committee website at http://childprotectionnorthayrshire.info/cpc/, or follow @NA_CPC on Twitter.

Source: Irvine Times, July 2021

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