A new campaign is encouraging everyone in Stirling to look out for signs during the summer that a child may have experienced harm, neglect or abuse during the pandemic.

Organised locally by Clackmannanshire and Stirling Child Protection Committee, the ‘For Kids’ Sake’ campaign is urging people to be alert for clues during the holiday for children who have had a tough time during lockdown.

Only now

Convener of Stirling Council’s Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Susan McGill said: “Most children and young people in Stirling 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 that we are beginning to spend significant time with children we’ve seen very little of during lockdown, and it’s only now that we might notice or sense that something is wrong.”

Child Protection Committees Scotland (CPCScotland) say that everyone can play a part to keep children safe and it’s essential to do something if you’re concerned about a child’s wellbeing over the school holidays.

Be alert for clues

Vice Convener of the Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Christine Simpson said: “We’re simply asking people in Stirling 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.”

So, ‘For Kids’ Sake’, if you see or hear something that isn’t right, or you notice a big change in behaviour from a child, CPCScotland stress it’s always better to say something than do nothing.

Get help and support

Cllr McGill added: “You shouldn’t ignore signs that something is wrong. Get help and support by contacting Stirling Council’s Social Work Team. Or, if you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police right away.”

More information:During the day you can contact Stirling Council Social Work with concerns on 01786 471177. Out of Hours (after 5pm and weekends) you can contact the team on 01786 470500.

Child Protection Committees Scotland (CPCScotland) is a national grouping of professionals who work together to improve the protection of children in Scotland. People involved in our group come from diverse organisations including social work, health, education, the police, children’s charities, housing associations and the emergency services. We have representatives on the group from all of Scotland’s 30 local child protection or public protection committees.