How we're continuing to protect children and how you can help

The Council's Children’s Services Social Work teams remain committed to supporting vulnerable families across Aberdeenshire during this critical time.

 

Whilst we have had to change the way we work in line with public health guidance, social workers and support workers continue to visit children and families in their homes where this is considered necessary. This includes where we are concerned about a child’s wellbeing or safety, and appropriate precautions are taken to reduce the risk of infection spread. Our social workers and support workers are also keeping in touch with families regularly using digital technology to maintain relationships and provide advice, guidance and support alongside colleagues from education and health.

 

Head of Children's Services, Leigh Jolly explains: "Checking in with and listening to children and families is key to keeping children safe.
 
"Our Aberdeenshire All Age Childcare Hubs supporting the children of key workers are also offering provision to children and young people in their local communities who would benefit from attending and receiving this level of support. While this will be a choice for parents, we are positively encouraging families to use the support being offered.
 
"The Aberdeenshire Child Protection Committee plays a key role in overseeing and evaluating child protection activity across local services. The impact of current restrictions continues to be scrutinised by the Committee who have developed a mechanism to identify risk, consider the impact and bring about mitigating actions to ensure we continue to work collaboratively to support children and their families where there is a risk of harm or abuse.
 
"Referrals have not yet dropped significantly across Aberdeenshire, however, we are aware that many of our services including schools and health services are not seeing children and families in the same way that they were before. It is more important than ever child protection is recognised as everyone’s responsibility and we are urging the public to be extra vigilant and keep looking out for vulnerable children and young people who may be at risk of neglect and abuse during COVID-19."


If you are worried that a child or young person is at risk or is being abused, please contact us (you can do this anonymously):


From Monday to Friday during office hours, call 01467 537111. During evenings and weekends call the out of hours service on 03456 08 12 06.
Phone 999 if a child is at immediate risk or contact the police on 101 if you think a crime has been committed but it isn’t an emergency.


The significant pressures parents are under during this time of lockdown is also recognised. If isolation, anxiety and stress is placing greater pressure on you and your family, support is available from our Children and Families Teams. A number of organisations including ParentLine Scotland can also help. Just call 0800 28 22 33.