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Caroline Renton: Strong community bonds can help keep children safe

Neglected and abused children need adults to speak up for them (Photo: Mama Belle and the kids/Shutterstock)
Neglected and abused children need adults to speak up for them (Photo: Mama Belle and the kids/Shutterstock)

Did you know that the NSPCC helpline makes an average of two referrals about abuse and neglect of children every day in Scotland?

And, almost 70% of the helpline’s referrals across the UK relate to children under nine years old.

New NSPCC Scotland data shows that in 2021/22, the NSPCC’s helpline for adults made almost 900 referrals about abuse and neglect to agencies in Scotland. These were made following contacts from the public and professionals who had safeguarding fears about a child.

Our trained helpline practitioners offer support, advice, and – in circumstances when children are at risk – make referrals to external agencies like local authorities or police to help protect young people.

The most common reason for the charity’s practitioners escalating their concerns in Scotland was neglect, with 272 referrals being made for this concern.

Raise awareness on Childhood Day

NSPCC Scotland is calling for everyone to play their part in protecting children from harm. We know that strong communities can help to keep children safe, with thousands of individuals playing their part and doing what’s right.

That’s why we created Childhood Day, which is held on the second Friday in June, and is a day that brings everyone in the UK together to make child protection a top priority.

We’re encouraging people in local communities across Scotland to get involved this Childhood Day, on Friday 10 June 2022.

We hope people can have fun, while raising awareness and funds to help the NSPCC in its work protecting children. Whether you hold your own play-themed fundraising event, donate or sign up to volunteer at one of our Childhood Day street collections, every pound you raise will help to keep children safe.

If you have concerns, speak up

To find out more, search Childhood Day online, or go to nspcc.org.uk, where there is information about what’s happening on the day. You can also sign up to volunteer at one of our Aberdeen Childhood Day collections, taking place on June 10 and 11.

If you have concerns about a child, even if you’re unsure of the situation, contact the NSPCC helpline to speak to one of the charity’s professionals.

Anyone can call 0808 800 5000, email help@nspcc.org.uk or fill in the online form. If you believe a child is at immediate risk, contact the police.


Caroline Renton is supporter fundraising manager for NSPCC Scotland

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