Together, we can tackle child abuse

Today – Thursday, 3 March – the Department for Education (DfE) is launching a nationwide communications campaign to encourage members of the public to report child abuse.

The theme of the campaign is “Together, we can tackle child abuse “ and the DfE is asking Local Safeguarding Children Boards, councils, charities , police forces, health partners and local community groups across the country to support the campaign .

In 2014/2015 more than 400,000 children in England were supported because someone noticed they needed help.  A quarter of children referred to children’s social care were referred by the police.

At the same time a survey carried out by the DfE showed that while 17% of people in the South West said they had suspected a child had been or was currently suffering child abuse or neglect, 37% were put off reporting their concerns because they thought they might be wrong, with 27% saying they would wait until they were absolutely certain abuse or neglect was taking place before making a report.  41% said they would find reporting child abuse and neglect more challenging than delivering news about the death of a friend or family member, with 34% saying they would find reporting child abuse and neglect more challenging than reporting the crime of a family member.

The main aim of the campaign, which will address all forms of abuse and neglect, is to encourage the public to report any concerns they might have about a child in order to get help to the child more quickly.  The DfE specifically want to tackle the barriers that stop people taking action.

While this is designed as a national campaign, the DFE are providing some funding for targeted advertising in 33 local authorities in Outer London and the West Midlands .  Although Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are not included in this national advertising, both the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LSCB and Cornwall Council will be helping to promote the campaign.

The key messages of the Together, we can tackle child abuse campaign is

  • We all have a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect.
  • All children have a right to be safe and should be protected from all forms of abuse and neglect.
  • A third of people who suspect child abuse, do nothing. A number of people do not act on their suspicions because they’re worried about being wrong.  You don’t have to be absolutely certain about your suspicions; if you have a feeling that something’s not right talk to your local children’s social care team who can look into it.
  • 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 your local children’s social care team.
  • Information is usually gathered from many sources, and your report would form one part of a bigger picture.

The DfE has produced a range of materials to support its campaign, including information on how to spot the signs of child abuse and neglect; who people can talk to if they suspect child abuse; what to do if someone suspects child abuse and what happens when they make a report, and how local communities can help protect children.

Information on the campaign and copies of the materials, including posters, leaflets and information cards, are available from the campaign website – http://dfe.brayleino.co.uk

Concerns over the welfare of a child in Cornwall should be reported to the Multi Agency Referral Unit on 0300 123 1116, with concerns over the welfare of a child in the isles of Scilly should be reported to the Council’s Children’s Social Care team on 01720 424354.   Concerns can also be reported to Devon and Cornwall police on 101.

 

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