People in Argyll and Bute should keep their Eyes Open for children at risk during the school holidays.
In the week that schools sound the end of term bell, Child Protection Committees across Scotland are encouraging the public to be extra observant to help protect potentially vulnerable children when school’s out for summer.
Child Protection Committees (CPC) Scotland, a nation-wide grouping of child protection professionals, hopes their Eyes Open campaign will raise awareness that members of the public can play an important role to keep children safe from harm in the holidays. The group believes that everyone is responsible for child welfare in Scotland.
CPC Argyll and Bute Chair Moira McKinnon said: “Children are about to be away from the usual school routine for a few weeks. For most local children this is a time of year filled with fun and free time, but for some families summer holidays are a time of increased stress and pressure. In some cases, children are not supervised or cared for adequately, others might even experience serious neglect.”
By taking an Eyes Open approach, Argyll and Bute’s own child protection committee hope that members of the public will take a more active, watchful role when it comes to protecting children in the area, and take action if they’re concerned for a child’s wellbeing.
Moira is clear that each and every one of us has a role to play in keeping our youngsters safe.
She added: “By keeping our eyes open, we might spot the telltale signs that a child is at risk. These signs include seeing children wandering about at all times of day and night, children who are very dirty or unfed, unsupervised children going into “party” flats, or whose parents are drunk in charge of them. However, spotting the signs isn’t enough. If something doesn’t seem quite right for a child, or a family of children, it’s better to say something than do nothing.”
Not only does the campaign support a public Eyes Open approach, it also encourages us to speak up instead of staying silent. Anyone who has concerns about a child can ask the child if they’re okay, offer the family some support, or contact Argyll and Bute’s Health and Social Care Partnership’s social work department, or the Police.
You can contact social work services on 01546 605517 (office hours) and 01631 566 491 (evenings and weekends).