04th May 2021
Threshold workers with access to people’s homes now have an extended chance to help spot possible child abuse and neglect during the coronavirus pandemic using free NSPCC training.
Local authority safeguarding partnerships and police across Sussex have joined forces with the NSPCC to encourage workers to take the training, which the children’s charity was originally giving away for free until March 31, but is now sharing until at least September. It is aimed at postal workers, delivery drivers and workers who regularly visit homes such as housing maintenance staff.
It can be accessed at http://bit.ly/3ilGDiR or by searching ‘NSPCC safeguarding awareness training for workers who enter people’s homes’ online. It was previously referred to as ‘It’s Your Call.’
Since the campaign was launched in January, more than 1,300 visits have been made to the site using a special Sussex tracked link, but Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnerships in West Sussex, East Sussex Brighton & Hove and Sussex Police are still keen for as many people to take the training as possible.
During the pandemic, children and young people have spent much more time at home and behind closed doors, meaning that some children have been at a greater risk of abuse and neglect. Though most children have now returned to school, most other support networks such as wider family and friends and clubs, currently have reduced opportunities to access and protect children.
Between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021, the NSPCC helpline made 373 referrals to external agencies based in Sussex – this was a 14% increase compared to the prior three months (October 2020 to December 2020).
Referrals are made when concerns reported to the helpline are considered serious enough to warrant further investigation.
Detective Superintendent Jon Hull of Sussex Police, speaking on behalf of Community Safety and Safeguarding Children Partnerships across Sussex said: “Workers visiting people’s homes during the pandemic have the unique opportunity to see or hear things that others may not. Therefore, it is important that they feel confident in knowing what to do if they are concerned about a child.”
“If you are still working with members of the public, taking the NSPCC’s free, quick training course, this spring could mean a child does not have to suffer needlessly. If you see something, say something.”
The NSPCC’s 15-minute interactive e-learning course, ‘safeguarding awareness training for workers who enter people’s homes’ will help workers to:
The various Safeguarding Children Partnerships in Sussex are also hoping to raise community awareness about the increased risk to children, by using NSPCC resources, including posters and wallet cards promoting the NSPCC helpline for adults and Childline for children.
Margaret Gallagher, NSPCC Head of Local Campaigns, said: “It’s hugely encouraging to see so many Sussex residents committing to protecting children at this difficult time by taking our safeguarding awareness training for workers who enter people’s homes, and we thank the Brighton & Hove Community Safety Partnership, Sussex Police, alongside West Sussex districts and boroughs and the three Sussex safeguarding children partnerships.
‘’We’ve been hearing first-hand about the immense pressures families have faced during the pandemic and the heavy toll that has taken on children and young people. For some children, this has included experiencing abuse, bereavement and other harm.
“Even as we start to emerge out of lockdown it is essential that we all play our role in helping to keep children and young people safe.”
Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club also showed support for the campaign, releasing a video of forward player Neal Maupay promoting the NSPCC and encouraging people to take the training.
Adults concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline seven days a week on 0808 800 5000, or email email@example.com. Children can speak to a counsellor on 0800 1111 or chat online at www.childline.org.uk.
But if you think abuse may be happening now, contact Sussex Police on 999 or 101.