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Keeping Shetland Bairns safe at Christmas

Published: 21 December 2020

Keeping Shetland Bairns safe at Christmas

As the festive season approaches, Child Protection Committees Scotland and Shetland Public Protection Committee encourages everyone to keep eyes and ears open for children who may be experiencing harm over the holidays. We’ve all got a part to play to protect children and young people, even at Christmas.

Coping with the pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but some families will have been under more strain than others. Parents who were struggling to cope before Coronavirus may have been pushed to crisis point during this year, and the festive season can put some families under even more pressure. Sadly, some children and young people will experience neglect or abuse.

As restrictions ease over Christmas, everyone in Shetland can be alert to signs that all is not well for a child or young person. Alan Small, Chair of Child Protection Committees Scotland encourages everyone to do their bit to help keep children and young people safe from harm.

“If you see or hear something that’s not right, or spot unusual behaviour from a child, talk to someone about your concerns - child protection services are always available, even at Christmas. Don’t wait if you are worried about a child, you can always get help from your local council, or the police. It’s always better to say something than do nothing.”

Tam Baillie Independent Chair of Shetland Public Protection Committee added “ Christmas can bring its own pressures for families- more so this year. We want every child in Shetland to be safe and would ask anyone who is struggling to seek some help from local or national organisations. We would also ask everyone in Shetland to be aware of children and young people who may be in unsafe situations and speak to Police Scotland or Shetland Duty Social Work if they are concerned”

Whether you’re a child who needs help, a parent who is looking for support, or an adult who is concerned about a child’s wellbeing, there is always someone you can talk to, even at Christmas and New Year.

You can find more information on the services in Shetland at www.safershetland.com and also the national Child Protection Scotland website. If you are concerned about a child please do not delay and phone the Duty Social Workers Shetland Children and Families Social Work Team on 01595 744420. Or out of hours 01595 6956 11 If you are very worried about a child you should call Police Scotland on 101, or if a child is in immediate danger please call 999. 

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 744420

Duty Social Work (for Adults)
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm:
01595 744468

Outside office hours:
01595 695611

Police: 101

Children’s Reporter:
0131 244 3780