Barnsley Council is backing NSPCC advice to make sure that children are kept safe during this lockdown period and that any concerns about their welfare are reported.
The NSPCC notes that children and young people are normally seen by lots of different adults every day, like neighbours, grandparents and teachers; however, due to coronavirus (COVID-19) people are self-isolating, social distancing and spending much more time at home.
This means some families might need extra support with parenting, and if a child is experiencing abuse, there aren't as many opportunities for other adults to spot the signs and help.
Cllr Margaret Bruff, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “If anyone is worried that a child or young person's at risk of harm or abuse, it’s vital that they tell someone. We’re not asking you to make judgements or interfere unnecessarily in other people’s lives; we just want to make sure that the child or young person gets the help and protection they may need, and that families are also offered support during these difficult times.
“If the child is in danger, call the police on 999 or (01142) 202020.
“If the child is not in immediate danger, but you're still concerned about them, call our social care assessment service on (01226) 772423 (weekdays before 5pm). Call our emergency duty team on (01226) 787789 if you’re calling after 5pm, at weekends or on bank holidays.”
More information is available on the council’s website at: www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/children-families-and-education/childrens-social-care/worried-about-a-child/
Parents and carers who are experiencing family difficulties during this time are reminded that support is always available:
Barnsley Families Information Service can offer local support: 08000 345340.
NSPCC - the leading children's charity working to prevent child abuse, visit their website for advice and support or contact them on 0808 800 5000.
Family Lives - offers online forums, information on a range of topics and a freephone helpline 0808 800 2222.