The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the UK Government signed up in 1991) states that:
Children must be kept safe from violence and they must be kept safe from harm. They must be given proper care by those looking after them (section 19).
Children and young people have a right to express a view about things that affect them (section 12).
The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 is the main legislation ensuring children's welfare and rights are central, and makes it a duty for any adult having care and control of a child to act in a child's best interests.
In Falkirk Council, Social Work Services have the lead responsibility for investigation and assessment to ensure appropriate early intervention for children who have been abused, or are at risk of abuse. We work closely with the police, health, education, the Children's Reporter, and the voluntary sector, in order to help and protect these children who are at risk.
Some examples of tell-tale signs of a child at risk may include:
appearing afraid, quiet or withdrawn
being afraid to go home
appearing constantly hungry, tired or untidy
For more information, you can download the leaflet 'What you can do to help if you are worried about a child or young person' (PDF, 169KB).
What should I do if I am concerned about a child or young person?
If you have concerns about a child or young person's welfare, please contact a member of the Children & Families Team at the local social work office covering the child's address.
If you need to contact social work urgently outwith the normal working hours then you can call the Emergency Duty Team.
Alternatively, you can contact:
your local police station, if you think a child is in immediate danger
a healthcare worker