A campaign has been launched by Hull City Council to encourage residents to share concerns about potentially vulnerable children and young people in their community.
The campaign, which is supported by the NSPCC, is called “Worried about a child in your neighbourhood?”.
It will raise awareness of how residents can play their part and highlight the ways they can contact the council or NSPCC about a child who may be at risk.
During the coronavirus outbreak, calls and referrals to the council’s Early Help and Safeguarding Hub (ESAH) are down by 15 per cent, but calls to the NSPCC have seen a national increase.
The hub receives about 14,800 calls a year and, although there has been a reduction, the council wants to continue the preventative and proactive approach and ensure the calls from key workers and the public continue, especially in these challenging times.If residents see any one or more of these signs, they are urged to share their concerns:
- Aggression, repeated shouting
- Hearing hitting or things being broken
- Children crying for long periods
- Young children left on their own
- Children looking dirty, not changing their clothes
- Children looking withdrawn or anxious
Councillor Peter Clark, portfolio holder for learning, skills and safeguarding children, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has brought many changes to all of our lives. With schools, youth centres, leisure centres and sports clubs closed and lockdown restrictions in place and usually a place of refuge, sadly home can be more dangerous than ever for some children.
“You have an important role to play and if you are genuinely concerned about a child or young person in your neighbourhood who is at risk of abuse or neglect then you can help by sharing your worries with us. We need your help to ensure that children and young people across the city remain safe.”
Anyone who is worried about the welfare of a child or young person can share concerns confidentially here or by calling 01482 300 300. Alternatively, contact the NSPCC via www.nspcc.org.uk or 0808 800 5000.