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Eyes open approach encouraged for children at risk

News Posted: 26th June 2018

Everyone in Shetland should keep their Eyes Open for children at risk during the school holidays.

In the week that Shetland schools break for the end of term, Child Protection Committees across Scotland are encouraging the public across the whole country to be extra observant to help protect potentially vulnerable children when school’s out for summer.

Child Protection Committees Scotland, a nation-wide grouping of child protection professionals, hopes their Eyes Open campaign will raise awareness that members of the public can play an important role to keep children safe from harm in the holidays. The group believes that everyone is responsible for child welfare in Scotland.

Anne Houston, CPCScotland Chair says, “Children across the country are about to be away from the usual school routine for a few weeks. For most local children this is a time of year filled with fun and free time, but for some families the summer holidays is a time of increased stress and pressure. In some cases, children are not supervised or cared for adequately, others might even experience serious neglect.”

By taking an Eyes Open approach, the Shetland Child Protection Committee (CPC) also hopes that members of the public will take a more active, watchful role when it comes to protecting children in the area, and take action if they’re concerned for a child’s wellbeing.

Chief Inspector Lindsay Tulloch, Chair of Shetland CPC said:  “By keeping our eyes open, we might spot the telltale signs that a child is at risk.  Seeing children wandering about at all times of day and night, children who are dirty or unfed, unsupervised children going into “party” flats, or whose parents are drunk in charge of them. However, spotting the signs isn’t enough. If something doesn’t seem quite right for a child, or a family of children, it’s better to say something than do nothing.”

Anyone who has concerns about a child or children can ask the child if they’re okay, offer the family some support or contact Shetland Islands Council’s Social Work department on 01595 744421 (01595 695611 out of hours), or contact the police on 101 in non-emergency situations and 999 if a child is at immediate risk.

If you are concerned about someone’s welfare, please tell someone who can help.

These are the phone numbers:

Duty Social Work (for Children)
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm:
01595 744000

Duty Social Work (for Adults)
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm:
01595 744400

Outside office hours:
01595 695611

Police: 101

Children’s Reporter:
0131 244 3780