Everyone in Fife should keep their Eyes Open for children at risk during the school holidays.
As Fife schools sound the end of term bell, child protection committees across Scotland are encouraging the public to be extra observant to help protect potentially vulnerable children when school’s out for summer.
Child Protection Committees Scotland, a nationwide group of professionals, hopes its Eyes Open campaign will raise awareness that members of the public can play an important role to keep children safe from harm in the holidays.
The group believes that everyone is responsible for child welfare in Scotland.
Chairwoman Anne Houston said: “Children are about to be away from the usual school routine for a few weeks.
“For most local children this is a time of year filled with fun and free time, but for some families the summer holidays is a time of increased stress and pressure.
“In some cases, children are not supervised or cared for adequately, others might even experience serious neglect.”
By taking an Eyes Open approach, Fife’s own child protection committee hopes that members of the public will take a more active, watchful role when it comes to protecting children in the area, and take action if they’re concerned for a child’s wellbeing.
Ms Houston is clear that each and every one of us has a role to play in keeping youngsters safe.
Chairman of Fife’s child protection committee Alan Small added: “By keeping our eyes open and our other senses tuned in, we might spot the tell-tale signs that a child is at risk.
“These signs include seeing children wandering about at all times of day and night, children who are lacking proper hygiene or appear uncared for and hungry, unsupervised children going into ‘party’ flats, or whose parents are drunk in charge of them.
“However, spotting the signs isn’t enough.
“If something doesn’t seem quite right for a child, or a family of children, it’s better to say something than do nothing.”
Not only does the campaign support a public Eyes Open approach, it also encourages people to speak up instead of staying silent.
Anyone who has concerns can ask the child if they’re okay, offer the family some support, or contact Fife Council’s social work department on 03451551503, or the police on 101, or if an emergency call 999.