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Public urged to keep eyes open for children at risk

Published: 25 June 2019

Child Protection Committees Scotland (CPCScotland), a nation-wide grouping of child protection professionals, hopes that members of the public will keep their eyes open and play a part to keep children safe from harm during the long break in the school routine.

CPCScotland Chair Alan Small says that the summer holidays don’t present a fun-filled, relaxing time for everyone:

“Most children in Shetland look forward to having lots of fun and free time during the school holidays but for some families the summer break can bring extra stress and pressure. In some cases, children might not be looked after or supervised properly, and some might even experience serious neglect.”

CPCScotland stresses that everyone in every community across the country is responsible for child welfare. By taking a more watchful, active ‘eyes open’ approach, CPCScotland suggests that all members of the public can play a part to protect our children. As well as being vigilant, Alan Small stresses that’s also essential to take action if you’re concerned about a child during the school holidays.

“We’re simply asking people in Shetland to keep their eyes open for telltale signs that all is not well. Signs that at child might be at risk could include being alone and unsupervised, being out and about at all times of day or night or even going into “party” flats. A vulnerable child might be very dirty or persistently hungry, or have parents who are drunk in charge of them. If you’re at all worried, it’s important to take action.”

If you have seen something and have concerns about a child or children CPCScotland are clear that it’s much better to say something than do nothing. Alan Small says that your intervention could help a child at risk.

“You can ask the child if they’re okay or even offer the family some support. Or, if the situation is serious and you’re very worried contact Shetland Islands Council’s social work department, or the police.”

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