Keep children safe this summer
In the week that Midlothian 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 schools are 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.
Summer can be stressful
East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Committee Chair Anne Neilson says: “Midlothian 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, the Midlothian and East Lothian Public Protection Committee hope that members of the public will take an active role when it comes to protecting children in the area, and take action if they’re concerned for a child’s wellbeing. Anne Neilson is clear that each and every one of us has a role to play in keeping our young people safe.
Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Jim Muirhead said: “By keeping our eyes open and our other senses tuned in, we might spot the telltale signs that a child is at risk. If something doesn’t seem quite right for a child, or a family of children, it’s better to say something than do nothing.”
How to report concerns
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 or children can ask the child if they’re okay, offer the family some support, or contact Midlothian Council’s children’s services on 0131 271 6674 or the police on 101.