Looking out for children after lockdown

As lockdown eases Child Protection Scotland, Barnardo’s Scotland, Police Scotland and NSPCC Scotland are working together to encourage everyone to take responsibility for keeping Scotland’s children safe from harm.

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a big effect on every child and every family, but lockdown will have been very much worse for some children and families than others.

Families who were struggling to cope before the pandemic may have been pushed to crisis point during lockdown, and even the most settled families will have faced new challenges during this time.

Some children and young people will have experienced neglect and abuse during the lockdown period.

It may take time for some of those experiences to emerge, but now that Scotland’s children and young people are back at school and beginning to join in with clubs and out-of-school activities again, it’s important that everyone keeps an eye out for unusual behaviours or signs that something’s not right for a child. 

Unusual behaviours might indicate that something’s wrong, and sometimes it’s what’s not said that matters. If your gut tells you that something’s not right for a child or a young person, please do something.

It’s always better to say something than do nothing. 

Get help

Children and young people

If you’re a child or a young person and have been hurt during lockdown or don’t feel safe, talk to an adult you trust or contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit childline.org.uk for help. 


If you’re an adult who’s worried about a child, please talk to another trusted adult or call the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 800 5000. If you’re really worried about a child’s safety you should contact your local council’s Social Work team or the police on 101. If a child is in immediate danger please call 999.

For some advice on what to do if a child discloses abuse watch this video and visit the NSPCC website.

Adults who work or volunteer with children

You can watch Barnardo’s Scotland’s film It’s All About Relationships. The film highlights practical examples and tips education staff can use to support positive relationships with young people who may be experiencing adversity and trauma which can be the result of many factors making life tough for children and young people.

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