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It's Everyone's Job to Make Sure Children are Safe

Issued: 20 Aug 2007

Highland's Child Protection Committee is supporting the national campaign to raise community awareness of child protection issues by mounting an awareness campaign this week. Highland's public agencies are re-stating the importance of community vigilance for keeping children safe and promoting a national child protection line that the public can use if they have any concerns about the safety of a child. The freephone number is 0800 022 32 22. This service helps members of the public to sort out the most appropriate organisation to speak to when they have a concern about a child's welfare or safety. It will also connect them to that organisation if they wish.

Alistair Dodds, Chairman of the Highland Child Protection Committee, said: "It's a sad reality that some children in 21st century Britain still experience abuse and harm. Public agencies are alert to this risk, and have a responsibility to act to protect children.

"But public agencies are often dependent on members of the community who have concerns about the safety of children, and who pass them on. This might only be a small piece of information. In itself, it may only be a relatively minor concern ~ but when we put it together with the other things that we know, it may be the important piece that confirms the full picture.

"Agencies do not jump to conclusions. We carefully assess the facts, and try and talk issues through with children, their parents, and other people who are important in children's lives. On very rare occasions, that means taking immediate action to protect children, or even to remove them into care. But usually, it means working with a family to reduce risk, and help them work through their problems ~ whilst ensuring the children are safe.

"So, if the public sees or hears something that raises a concern ~ we ask that they share this concern. There are many times when we will check out the concern, and we can then offer reassurance that a child is not at risk. But sometimes there will be very good reason for the concern ~ and a child will be safer because the concern has been shared."

If members of the public have a concern about the safety of a child, they should:

  • Speak to a professional: a social worker, police officer, teacher or health worker
  • Call the local contact number: 01463 703488
  • Email: CPAdmin@highland.gov.uk
  • Or call the national Freephone number: 0800 22 32 22
© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme