The current lockdown restrictions mean that right now, vulnerable children and adults may be particularly isolated. This means that the family, community and professional networks they usually rely on may be unavailable or hard to access. However, safeguarding is everyone’s business, as the Prime Minister’s Hidden Harms Summit emphasised last week.
The Home Office, in collaboration with a number of other Government departments, has produced information and guidance for those who are still operating in communities and may not be trained to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect. The guidance covers signs to spot and what to do if there is a concern.
The guidance can be found on the Home Office Brandworkz portal. The portal contains print and online versions of the guidance for England and another for Wales, available in both English and Welsh. We have also uploaded a poster focusing on child abuse, designed by The Children’s Society, which we would encourage you to display in staff rooms etc.
Neighbours, volunteers and professionals – like pharmacists, shop and supermarket workers or anyone who might still be interacting with members of the public – can play a vital role in keeping adults and children safe, so please share these materials with your networks, and feel free to repurpose and adapt the text as needed (e.g. to add in to existing newsletters, guidance etc).
To report any concerns relating to Hampshire residents, you can report directly into Children or Adult Services using the following numbers;
Childrens Services – 0300 555 1384 ( www.hampshirescp.org.uk)
Adult Services – 0300 555 1386 (www.hampshiresab.org.uk)
Out of Hours number for both – 0300 555 1373
If the person is in immediate risk of harm – 999 for Police