For Kids’ Sake… Child protection campaign urges everyone to be alert for signs of abuse or neglect
A new school holiday campaign being launched this week urges everyone in Highland to enjoy plenty of summertime fun with extended family and friends after months of pandemic restrictions, but to be alert for signs that the lockdown experience was anything but fun for some children.
As Highland schools prepare to ring the end of term bell on 25th June for the holidays, Child Protection Committees Scotland’s new "For Kids’ Sake…" campaign encourages everyone to look out for clues that a child may have experienced harm, neglect or abuse during the pandemic.
Mhairi Grant, Chair of Highland Child Protection Committee says that while everyone is excited about having holiday fun over the summer holidays, some children will have had a very difficult time in recent months.
“Most children and young people in Highland 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, and it’s only now that we might notice or sense that something is wrong.”
In the For Kids’ Sake… campaign, CPCScotland stresses that everyone can play a part to keep children safe. Paying attention and noticing signs that a child has been abused or neglected is critical, as is taking action to get some support for that child or children.
Highland Child Protection Committee urges people to do something if they are concerned about a child’s wellbeing over the school holidays.
“We’re simply asking people in Highland 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.”
So, for kids’ sake, if you see or hear something which isn’t right, or you notice a big change in behaviour from a child, CPCScotland say that it’s always better to say something than do nothing.
“You shouldn’t ignore signs that something is wrong. Get help and support by visiting www.hcpc.scot for details of your local Social Work team. Or, if you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police right away.”
Notes to Editors:
For further information, or to request an interview with Mhairi Grant, please contact:
Name: Donna Munro, Lead Officer, Highland CPC
Child Protection Committees Scotland (CPCScotland) is a national grouping of professionals who work together to improve the protection of children in Scotland. People involved in our group come from diverse organisations including social work, health, education, the police, children’s charities, housing associations and the emergency services. We have representatives on the group from all of Scotland’s 30 local child protection or public protection committees.
Children themselves have told us that “it’s everyone’s job to make sure I’m all right”, and an important part of CPCScotland’s remit is to raise public awareness of what child protection actually is. When CPCScotland talks about child protection we mean helping to keep children safe from abuse, neglect, exploitation, harm and anything else that puts them at risk.
Our spokespeople are available for broadcast and press interview. Collectively we are able to offer the media our specialist knowledge about child protection issues, plus a real breadth of experience and insight.
As a group, CPCScotland aims to provide jargon-free definitions of child abuse and neglect. We also hope to raise understanding that child protection is not just about babies but can affect children and young people of all ages and backgrounds.
We can explain the complexities of child protection and legal systems, and some of the challenges being faced by child protection professionals. We also seek to emphasise the good work already being done by agencies, organisations and staff across the country to protect children at risk.
We believe that child protection requires collective effort and is not restricted to official organisations and the law - individuals and communities can also play a significant role protecting children from harm. As such, we hope to maximise opportunities in the media to explain why each and every one of us has a responsibility to keep Scotland’s children safe.