Safeguarding and child protection are as important now as they ever have been. But with schools closed and social distancing measures in place across the UK, we all need to think about the way we keep children safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Children and young people are normally seen by lots of different adults every day, like neighbours, grandparents, and teachers. But due to coronavirus (COVID-19) we 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 adults to spot the signs and help.

We know isolation can put some children at a greater risk of domestic abuse, neglect, physical or emotional abuse and sexual abuse.

Efforts are being made to keep school places open for vulnerable children. But It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep children safe, spot the signs of abuse and report concerns. We all need to play our part by checking in with families and reaching out for support and advice if we have any concerns.

Worried about a child?

If you are concerned about a child, you can report your concern to the Front Door on 0345 2000 109.

If you are unsure whether to make a referral you can contact the Front Door and speak to someone to discuss the situation and they will be able to advise you on what to do next. you

Spotting the signs of abuse

Social distancing, self-isolating and quarantine can cause stress and changes in everyone’s behaviour. Families are under new pressures and you may worry a child is withdrawn, anxious or depressed. Spotting the signs of abuse might be more difficult and it can be difficult to know for certain if something is wrong.

But if you’re worried about a child, even if you’re unsure, contact our helpline to speak to one of our counsellors. Call us on 0808 800 5000, email [email protected] or fill in our online form. Abuse is always wrong and should always be reported.

Some of the signs you may spot include:

  • aggressive or repeated shouting
  • hearing hitting or things being broken
  • children crying for long periods of time
  • very young children left alone or are outdoors by themselves
  • children looking dirty or not changing their clothes
  • children being withdrawn or anxious.

These signs do not necessarily mean that a child is being abused, there could be other things happening in their life which are affecting their behaviour, but by contacting us we can help assess the situation.

If you are concerned about a child contact the Front Door on 0345 2000 109.

Further information can be found by visiting the NSPCC website

Some of the above information has been reproduced from the NSPCC website.