Play your part to help vulnerable children during lockdown

7 May 2020

Cheshire West and Chester Council are raising awareness of where people can report concerns about a child or young person's safety during the current lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19.

With many children at home throughout the week instead of at school some children may face neglect or other forms of abuse. 

The Council’s children’s service is working closely with partners and schools to safeguard the borough’s most vulnerable children and families, but they need the help of residents, from communities across the borough, to ensure that no child is put at risk during the current lockdown.

Some common signs that there may be something concerning happening in a child’s life include.
  • Aggressive or repeated shouting.
  • Hearing hitting or things being broken.
  • Children crying for long periods of time.
  • Very young children being left alone or outdoors by themselves.
  • Children looking dirty or not changing their clothes.
  • Children being withdrawn or anxious.
The NSPCC has also launched a national TV and advertising campaign this week to highlight how people can get advice and support and where to raise concerns about a child’s wellbeing. The film, which will run on national television and across social media, depicts a helpline expert taking a call from someone concerned for the wellbeing of a neighbour’s child.

People don’t always make a report when they have suspicions about child abuse because they’re worried about being wrong. You don’t have to be certain about your suspicions before making a report; if you have a feeling that something’s not right, talk to the Council’s children’s social care team who can look into it.

People can report a concern about a child or young person directly to the Council’s Children’s Social Care Team by calling: 0300 123 7047 Monday to Thursday, 8.30am - 5pm and Fridays, 8.30am to 4.30pm. Out of these hours the Emergency Duty Team can be reached on: 01244 977277.

Alternatively call the police on 0845 458 0000, or 999 in an emergency. 

The government has funded the NSPCC to enable the charity to expand and raise awareness of its helpline service to protect more young people. Their helpline is available on: 0808 800 5000 Monday to Friday, 8am - 10pm or 9am - 6pm at the weekends. Alternatively they can be reached 24 hours a day by email: help@nspcc.org.uk

All reports, to any of these organisations, will be treated confidentially.

Councillor Bob Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: “Our social care and education team are working with local schools to ensure that vulnerable children we know about are protected but we need our communities to help us by reporting any concerns they might have about children or young people in their community.

“If you suspect something, even if you are not 100 per cent sure, please report it. Information is usually gathered from a number of sources, and your information would form one part of the bigger picture. Your call could make the difference to ensure a family starts getting the help they need and may even save a child’s life”

For more information about reporting child abuse in west Cheshire visit the Cheshire West and Chester Safeguarding Children Partnership website.
 

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