Keep eyes and ears open for kids at risk

With the closure of schools and nurseries during the coronavirus 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.

Marian Martin, chairwoman of North Lanarkshire’s Child Protection Committee recognises the impact a significant change in day-to-day life may have on vulnerable children.

She said: “Schools and nurseries in North Lanarkshire play a central role in contributing to the safety of all local 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, and we are making every effort possible to support those children and families who may need it during these demanding times.”

However, North Lanarkshire Council stresses the need for the public to join efforts to protect potentially vulnerable children during the coronavirus outbreak and urges everyone to play a part to keep local children safe.

Marian added: “The onus of care has now shifted from schools to local communities, and we’re asking everyone to keep their eyes and ears open,” added Marian. “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 the welfare of a child contact your local social work office or call the police via 101.