Fifers urged to help protect vulnerable children during outbreak

People in Fife are being urged to be alert about children who may be at risk during the coronavirus shutdown.

Child Protection Committees Scotland, a national grouping of child protection professionals, is supporting Scottish Government efforts - as well as those among local authorities and the third sector - to keep children safe from harm during the enforced break from school.

Alan Small, independent chair of Fife Child Protection Committee, says he recognises the impact a significant change in day-to-day life may have on vulnerable youngsters.

He said: "Schools and nurseries in Fife play a central role in contributing to the safety of all local children, especially those who may be at risk of abuse and neglect.

"When children are not at school we don’t have the same ability to monitor their wellbeing on a daily basis. Our teams within children’s services are working closely with those in education and are making every effort possible to support those children and families who may need it during these demanding times.”

But Mr Small says the public need to join efforts to protect vulnerable children.

He continued: "The onus of care has now shifted more to local communities, and we’re asking everyone to keep their eyes and ears open.

"Local people always provide a significant protective factor for children and that’s even more important at a time when families may be under significant additional stress. If you’re at all worried about a child’s welfare, it’s much better to say something than do nothing.

"We urge everyone to take action if they’re concerned about a child or children. If you’re worried, don’t hesitate to contact your social work contact centre on 03451 551503 or call the police on 101.

"If you think a child might be in immediate danger you should contact the police right away by dialling 999."

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