The Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership (BSCP) is calling on members of the public to help identify any children who may be experiencing harm or neglect, to support the safeguarding work undertaken all year round by organisations in the BSCP.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and national restrictions, the signs of harm that professionals usually look out for are harder to spot while children are at home. Most children will be well cared for, but there will be some who need help and support. Residents are encouraged to report their concerns so that help can be provided. Signs of harm could include children not having enough to eat, living in unhygienic home conditions or a lack of suitable clothing. This neglect can be both unintentional due to financial difficulties, or it could be intentional abuse.
Members of the public can report their concerns by ringing:
- 999 if the child is in immediate danger
- The Assessment Team on (01226) 772423 – Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm
- The Emergency Duty Team on (01226 787789) for out of hour urgent cases. The team work on weekends and bank holidays and deal with issues that can't wait until usual office opening hours.
- The NSPCC’s reporting service on 0808 800 5000
Anonymous reports can be made.
Organisations across the BSCP have robust safeguarding procedures in place, to identify and support children and families in need of help as quickly as possible. However, members of the public can support this work and look after their community by being vigilant to signs of abuse and harm.
Bob Dyson, the Independent Chair of Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership said: “The public always has an important role to play in safeguarding our children but during the pandemic and its lockdown that has become even more vital. We are concerned that ‘hidden harms’ may be occurring and going unreported. If family members or neighbours are seeing children as part of a childcare bubble, or out in the community, and are concerned about any child’s welfare, please report your concerns.
“Services want to help families stay together wherever possible and get them the support they need. Keeping our children safe is a key priority that we are committed to, but we need the help of our local communities.”
Where children and families just need some extra support, Early Help services support families where they have additional needs that cannot be met by universal services, such as health and education. Early Help services make sure that families can access the support they need, at the earliest possible stage. For more information, contact our Families Information Service on 0800 0345 340 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.