COVID-19 crisis

With the closure of schools and nurseries during the COVID-19 crisis, Child Protection Scotland is urging everyone to keep their eyes and ears open for children who may be at risk during this time.

With the current closure of schools and nurseries, and with children being largely kept at home for long periods, there is potential for an increase in child abuse.

Many families will be under extra stress during the Coronavirus outbreak, and there are real concerns amongst child protection professionals that vulnerable children may be at even higher risk during this extended break in normal routine.

Child Protection Scotland asks every individual and every community to play a part to keep Scotland’s children safe from harm during Covid-19. It’s more important than ever that we all keep our eyes and ears open. If you see or hear something that doesn’t sound right, take action. If you’re at all concerned about a child’s welfare, it’s much better to say something than do nothing.

If you’re worried, don’t hesitate to contact your local authority social work department , or call the police on 101. If you think that a child is in immediate danger you should call the police on 999 right away.

Online abuse

The digital world is a hugely welcome and positive resource during this demanding time, offering tremendous support to families everywhere.

However, during the Covid-19 crisis, children are at increased risk from online sexual abuse. While families are at home for extended periods of time, and the use of digital devices has risen greatly, online abusers may attempt to exploit this opportunity to target children and young people.

It’s more important than ever that parents and carers keep an eye on what their children are doing on their devices. You should ask simple questions about what online sites they’re visiting and if they’re talking to anyone new. Don’t forget, your curiosity can keep your own children safe from harm.

You can get more information about keeping children safe from online abuse from the Thinkuknow website and other organisations listed on our Get help page.