Aberdeen City Council’s Integrated Children’s and Family Services and the city’s Child Protection Committee today (Monday 23 March) issued a joint plea for communities to support local children and young people through the current Covid-19 outbreak.
The plea comes in the wake of the city’s schools closing to help manage the pandemic and the impact that may have, particularly on the city’s vulnerable children.
The two organisations are particularly keen to tackle the issues that social isolation might create for children and young people and are urging communities to adopt an ‘eyes open’ approach and act on any concerns they may have about young individuals struggling without the support of schools and nurseries network.
Graeme Simpson, Chief Officer for Aberdeen City Council’s Integrated Children’s and Family Services and Sheena Gault, Independent Chair of Aberdeen City’s Child Protection Committee (CPC), issued the following joint statement: “Regardless of the unprecedented situation we all find ourselves in, the health, wellbeing and safety of our young people remains of paramount importance.
“With schools and nurseries having closed from today for the foreseeable future, the onus is on all us to be watchful and to know what to do if we become aware of a child who is struggling or in distress.
“We urge everyone to play a part to keep local children safe. The onus of care has now shifted from schools to local communities, and we’re asking everyone to keep their eyes and ears open.
“Local communities 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.”
Anyone with any concerns about the health, safety or wellbeing of a child or young person, should contact Police Scotland on 101 or the Aberdeen Joint Child Protection Team on 01224 306877 (0800 731 5520 for emergencies out of office hours).