The message is simple – if you see or hear something that worries you and you think a child may be at risk, say something by:
The West Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership is made up of West Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and NHS professionals working together to protect children and young people.
Jacquie Russell, the council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We all have a responsibility to look out for the signs that a child is suffering from abuse or neglect.
“I am very proud of the way our communities are coming together to support each other. But we know that there are families who are under increasing pressure because of the restrictions imposed due to coronavirus. So it’s even more important that we all work together to help keep our young people safe.”
Detective Superintendent Jon Hull from Sussex Police said: “Over the last ten years there has been a significant increase in reports of children needing protection. We are clear in our commitment to protecting vulnerable children and have made it a priority. Our officers and staff who manage child abuse investigations are committed and dedicated, often working in difficult and demanding circumstances, and our engagement with partners is also crucial.
“Finding out that a child, or a child in your care, has witnessed or been the victim of child abuse can be incredibly difficult. The first priority is to make sure that the child and any others affected are safe. The second is to ensure that the threat or danger to them is removed. We aim to do both but need information, whether direct to us or through partners, to help us do that.
Allison Cannon, the Chief Nursing Officer of the Sussex CCGs said: “All families will be finding these challenging times difficult, but for our vulnerable children and young people the current situation will often be even harder – with many left feeling isolated and worried. That’s why it is even more important that we all work together to keep them safe.
“Looking out for children who may need help is everyone’s responsibility. If in doubt, please make that call – and help us to help children who may be in need of safeguarding and support.”
Find out more about the West Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership.