Public urged to keep eyes and ears open for children at risk during COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency

With the closure of schools and nurseries during the COVID-19 crisis, a national child protection group is urging everyone to keep their eyes and ears open for children who may be at risk during this time.

Child Protection Committees Scotland, a national grouping of child protection professionals, supports all efforts by the Scottish Government, local authorities and the third sector to keep children safe from harm during the enforced break in normal routine.

CPCScotland Vice Chair Tam Baillie recognises the impact a significant change in day-to-day life may have on vulnerable children.

“Schools and nurseries play a central role in contributing to the safety of all our children, especially those who may be at risk of abuse and neglect. When children are not at school we lose the ability to monitor their wellbeing on a daily basis, so we are pleased that careful consideration is being given to supporting those children and families who may need it during these demanding times.”

However, CPCScotland stresses the need for the public to join efforts to protect potentially vulnerable children during the COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency. Tam Baillie urges everyone to play a part to keep Scotland’s children safe.

“The onus of care has now shifted from schools to local communities, and we’re asking everyone to keep their eyes and ears open. Local people always provide a significant protective factor for children and that’s even more important at a time when families may be under significant additional stress. If you’re at all worried about a child’s welfare, it’s much better to say something than do nothing.”

If you’re concerned about a child or children who may be at risk of harm, abuse or neglect during the COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency, don’t hesitate to contact your local authority social work department. You can find details by visiting our dedicated page, or by calling the police on 101. If you think a child might be in immediate danger you should contact the police right away by dialing 999.

24 March 2020