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Public urged to be vigilant to protect children at risk during Covid-19

Posted on 31 Mar 2020


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.

John Paterson, Independent Chair of North Ayrshire Child Protection Committee, recognises the impact a significant change in day-to-day life may have on vulnerable children.

“Schools and nurseries within North Ayrshire 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 well-being 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 Ayrshire Child Protection Committee stresses the need for the public to join efforts to protect potentially vulnerable children during the Coronavirus outbreak. John Paterson urges everyone to play a part to keep local 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.”

North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership is urging everyone to take action if they’re concerned about a child or children. If you’re worried, don’t hesitate to contact the social work department on 01294 310300, or Ayrshire Urgent Care Service in the evenings or at weekends on 0800 328 7758. You can also call the police on 101.