A new school holiday campaign being launched today urges everyone in Dundee to enjoy plenty of summertime fun with extended family and friends, but to be alert for signs that the lockdown experience was anything but fun for some children.
As Dundee schools prepare to ring the end of term bell on Friday for the holidays, the Dundee Child Protection Committee is supporting the national For Kids’ Sake… campaign, which encourages everyone to look out for clues that a child may have experienced harm, neglect or abuse during the pandemic.
Child Protection Committee chair Elaine Torrance said that, while everyone is excited about having holiday fun over the summer holidays, some children will have had a very difficult time in recent months.
“Most children and young people in Dundee 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,” she said.
“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 months, and it’s only now that we might notice or sense that something is wrong.”
In the For Kids’ Sake… campaign, Child Protection Committees Scotland says everyone can play a part to keep children safe. Paying attention and noticing signs that a child has been abused or neglected is critical, as is taking action to get some support for that child or children.
Elaine stressed it’s essential to do something if you’re concerned about a child’s wellbeing over the school holidays.
She continued: “We’re simply asking people in Dundee 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 instinct 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.”
You can find more information about where to get help or report a concern on the Dundee Child Protection website. If you are very worried about a child you should the Dundee Child Protection Line on 307999 or if a child is in immediate danger please call 999.
Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.