21 November 2008
A new card that tells people who to call if they suspect a child is in danger has been launched in Blaenau Gwent Council’s pioneering child-safety campaign.
And Blaenau Gwent Council’s 4,000 staff are the first to join in – they have all had a copy of the handily-sized card to carry with them.
The child-safety card was unveiled at the new Willowtown Primary School on Friday 21 November 2008. A child safety conference was held at the school on the same day for partner organisations who work for children and young people across Blaenau Gwent.
Cllr John Rogers, Blaenau Gwent Council’s Executive Member for Social Services, said:
“Making sure children stay safe is everyone’s responsibility - not just the agencies that work directly with them but all of us. It’s simply our duty as good citizens.”
The safeguarding card, which fits easily into a purse or wallet, contains phone numbers of the correct agencies to contact if a child’s safety is compromised in any way. The campaign message is simple – when there is a question of child safety call the right number at once.
The card has been developed following research which showed that the main reason people do not act on their concerns regarding children is that they do not know who to contact for help. On the card are the telephone numbers for Blaenau Gwent Council’s Social Services (01495 315700), out-of-hours Emergency Duty Team (0800 328 4432) and Gwent Police (01633 838111).
Blaenau Gwent Council staff are now encouraged to carry the card with them. The cards are also being circulated to police officers, probation workers, health visitors, youth offending workers, voluntary sector workers and other agencies that work with children and young people.
Blaenau Gwent Council’s new Youth Mayor, Laura Beaton, and the Council’s Corporate Director for Community Services Phil Hodgson, the lead director for Children’s Services, joined Cllr Rogers for the launch event and the conference.
Blaenau Gwent Council has set up the Blaenau Gwent Local Safeguarding Children Board to bring together organisations that help children so they work in partnership. This is a requirement for all local authorities under the Children’s Act (2004). The Council’s main partners are Blaenau Gwent Local Health Board, Gwent NHS Trust, Gwent Police, the Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly Youth Offending Service and the Probation Service. These agencies are also issuing the new safeguarding cards to staff.
A new partnership website goes live today. The address is www.blaenau-gwent-lscb.org.uk
The conference also discussed plans to raise awareness of the dangers of domestic abuse and substance misuse in future campaigns.