Warrington Borough Council is encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against child abuse and neglect as the next phase of ‘Together, we can tackle child abuse campaign’ is launched.
The campaign sets to raise public awareness of the signs of abuse and neglect.
Local people are being encouraged to look out for and recognise the signs of abuse.
The awareness campaign focuses on ‘ABC’ – these are frequent or sudden changes in a child’s Appearance, Behaviour and Communication.
Appearance: such as unusual injuries or consistently uncared-for appearance.
Behaviour: such as being withdrawn, overly anxious, disruptive, self-harming, or any other sudden changes in behaviour.
Communication: such as talking aggressively, using sexual language, or becoming secretive.
Cllr Jean Carter, executive board member for Children’s Services said: “We all have a duty to protect those who are most vulnerable within our communities. Keeping children safe from harm is everyone’s responsibility.”
“It is important people voice their concerns, no matter how small they think they are. You don’t have to be absolutely certain about whether a child is being abused. If you have a feeling that something’s not right, talk to the council’s children’s social care team who will look into it.”
Anyone who is concerned that a child is at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect, or are themselves a victim of abuse, should report it straight away.
- Report any safeguarding concerns about a child or young person to Children’s Safeguarding/Social Work Team on 01925 443322
- Outside of office hours ring 01925 444400
- If you believe a crime has been committed contact the police on 101
- If you believe the child is at immediate risk of harm dial 999
Among parents of under 16s questioned by YouGov, almost a third (31 per cent) had worried about a child’s welfare, or about abuse or neglect of a child in their local area, but just over half (57 per cent) went on to take any action to raise their concerns.
Overall, 24 per cent of those parents who had concerns and took action had tackled the situation directly, 69 per cent had sought advice and 16 per cent had reported their concerns to a professional, suggesting there is more to be done to help build public confidence in knowing when and how to report a case of suspected abuse.
In 2016/17, more than 400,000 children in England were supported because someone noticed they needed help – and in around half of these cases related specifically to abuse and neglect.
If members of the public are worried about a child they can visit a new dedicated campaign page: gov.uk/tacklechildabuse to get the contact number for their local council, the NSPCC Helpline number 0808 800 5000 or the Police.