Aberdeenshire public urged to look out for signs of child abuse or neglect
With Aberdeenshire schools now on holiday for the summer, a new campaign is encourages everyone to look out for clues that a child may have experienced harm, neglect or abuse.
The ‘For Kids’ Sake’ campaign is being supported by Aberdeenshire’s Child Protection Committee, involving representatives from various local services including Aberdeenshire Council, Police Scotland and NHS Grampian.
Susan Maclaren, Aberdeenshire’s Child Protection Committee chair, said: “Most children and young people have been supported well during lockdown and are looking forward to lots of fun activities with extended family and friends during the summer months.
“For some children, though, it may only be now that we notice or sense that something is wrong.
“This campaign underlines the fact that it’s always better to do something than to say nothing. We all have a part to play in keeping children safe.
"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 prevent something worse from happening to a child you know.”
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.
Be alert for clues that harm has happened, such as a big change in behaviour, seeing or hearing something that doesn’t feel right, or more obvious signs of neglect.
Susan added: “You shouldn’t ignore signs that something is wrong.
"We have very supportive social work teams who can look into issues and ensure the right support is in place.
"Or, if you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police right away.”
Full details of Aberdeenshire’s children and families social work teams are available on Aberdeenshire council’s website, and you can call the team on 01467 537111 (9am-5pm on weekdays) or for out of hours support call 03456 08 12 06.
If a child is in immediate danger, call the police right away on 999.