Keep an eye open for kids

Child protection groups are asking people to be aware of potential risks for neglect during the school holidays.
Child protection groups are asking people to be aware of potential risks for neglect during the school holidays.

Everyone in Dumfries and Galloway should keep their Eyes Open for children at risk during the school holidays.

In the week that Dumfries and Galloway schools sound the end of term bell, Child Protection Committees across Scotland are encouraging the public across the whole country to be extra observant to help protect potentially vulnerable children when school’s out for summer.

Child Protection Committees 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.

CPCScotland chair Anne Houston 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 the summer holidays is 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, Dumfries and Galloway’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.

Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee is clear that each and every one of us has a role to play in keeping our youngsters safe: “By keeping our eyes open and our other senses tuned in, 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 to risk doing 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 any concerns about a child or children should contact Dumfries and Galloway’s social work department on 030 33 33 3001 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or Police Scotland on the 101 number.