A pilot scheme in Derbyshire aimed at protecting children from abuse is to be rolled out nationwide
Approximately 18 months ago a pilot scheme was set up in Derbyshire by NSPCC’s ChildLine whereby volunteers go into primary schools to talk to children about different types of child abuse. The aim of the scheme is to give children the knowledge they need to recognise when abuse is taking place and to give them information about where they can receive help and support. This scheme is now to be rolled out across the country. ChildLine Schools Service has said that by 2016 they hope their volunteers will speak to every primary school child and continue visiting each school every two years, reaching 1.8 million children across the UK.
The issue of child abuse has rarely been out of the news in recent months and it is widely accepted that more needs to be done in order to protect children from abuse. However there has been a question mark about whether it is appropriate for child abuse to be discussed with such young children. In response to these concerns Linda Ricketts, the ChildLine Schools Service area coordinator for Derbyshire said “if we are really serious about stopping child abuse, we need to reach children when they are younger, giving them the knowledge they need in clear, reassuring language.” ChildLine Schools Service also accepts that the issue of child abuse is a sensitive one and insists that all the materials and activities are scripted following feedback from children, teachers, parents and education / child protection experts.
More information about the scheme can be found at www.nspcc.org.uk.
I would urge any victims of child abuse to call ChildLine on 0800 1111 and to obtain specialist legal advice from the outset.