A new school holiday campaign being launched today is urging everyone in Renfrewshire to be alert for any signs of child abuse or neglect over the summer the months.
As Renfrewshire schools prepare to ring the end of term bell on Friday 25 June, the For Kids’ Sake… campaign urges everyone in Renfrewshire to enjoy plenty of summertime fun time with extended family and friends after months of pandemic restrictions.
But Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee’s Chair John Paterson wants people to remember some children will have had a very difficult time in recent months.
He said: “Most children and young people in Renfrewshire are really looking forward to having sleepovers, day trips, staycations and time with grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and family friends in the school break.
“Sadly, some of those children will have been through a rough time during the pandemic. It’s only now we are beginning to spend significant time with children we’ve seen very little of during lockdown months, and it’s only now that we might notice or sense that something is wrong.”
In the For Kids’ Sake… campaign, RCPC stresses everyone can play a part to keep children safe. Paying attention and noticing signs a child has been abused or neglected is critical, as is taking action to get some support for that child or children.
And John stresses it’s essential to do something if you’re concerned about a child’s wellbeing over the school holidays.
He said: “We’re simply asking people in Renfrewshire to be alert for clues that harm has happened. Children can take a long time to say anything if they’ve experienced abuse or neglect, but you can listen carefully, look out for signs or pay attention to signals that there’s a problem.
“If your gut tells you something is wrong, it’s important not to ignore it. By raising your concerns you might help something worse from happening to a child you know.”
“It’s always better to say something than do nothing. You shouldn’t ignore signs that something is wrong. Get help and support by contacting Renfrewshire Council’s social work department. Or, if you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police right away.”