Orkney Public Protection Chief Officer’s Group is urging everyone to keep their eyes and ears open for children who may be at risk of harm, abuse or neglect during the COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency. It’s now more important than ever for members of the public to speak up if they’re concerned about a child or children.
Gerry O’Brien, the Chair of Orkney’s Chief Officers Group, which has overall responsibility for Orkney’s services for children in need of care and protection, said “Our schools and nurseries in Orkney play a vital role in contributing to the safety and wellbeing of children and families, especially those who may be at risk of abuse and neglect. We recognise that the closure of schools and nurseries is a significant change in day-to-day life which may be especially challenging for vulnerable children.
“During these unprecedented times we are continuing to work with those children and families who may need our help and support. Our communities can and do provide a significant protective factor for our children which is even more important when families may be under significant additional pressure. Therefore, we would also encourage the public to join us in our efforts to protect potentially vulnerable children during the COVID-19 outbreak.”
If you’re worried about a child, please contact Orkney Health and Care Children and Families Services on 01856 873535 during normal office hours Monday to Friday. More information can be found on the Council’s web-pages: https://www.orkney.gov.uk/Service-Directory/S/child-protection.htm.
Out of office hours, please contact us 01856 888000 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.
The NSPCC also operate a national 24 hour helpline on 0808 8005000. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/our-services/nspcc-helpline/