A new leaflet to help the community keep children safe is being distributed to all households in the isles.
Recent reports on child protection in Shetland have showed the importance of the issue and the leaflet, including numbers to ring if people have concern, will be delivered next week.
The maildrop has been funded by FB Taylor (Cable Contractors) Ltd, a contractor at the Sullom Voe Terminal.
Shetland Child Protection Committee is asking everyone to keep the leaflet by the phone, and to make that call when it is needed.
Lead official Helen Watkins said: “Generally there has been good support from the Shetland public for child protection work. I think people do understand that looking out for children and young people is everyone’s responsibility.
“If any member of the community has a concern about a child, they should ring social work or the police. Doing nothing is not an option when a child’s welfare is at stake.
“We know how hard it can be for members of the public to report their concerns, particularly if they are not sure, but it is really important that they do so. It is only the child protection agencies who are in a position to put together the information and decide whether or not a child may be at risk.
“There are still too many children in Shetland who are suffering from abuse and neglect in their families. Professionals are ready to help them, but need to be told about any problems sooner rather than later. The sooner the family gets help the more chance there is of a successful outcome.”
For social work the number is (01595) 744421, when people will be put through to a social worker in the children and families team. If anyone needs to call at evenings and weekends they can ring (01595) 695611 and say it is a child protection concern and the duty social worker will call them back. For immediate help, ring the police. The leaflet explains what will happen next.
Children and young people themselves are welcome to ring those numbers to seek help, whether for themselves or a friend. Or they can make a confidential call to Child Line on 0800 1111.
There is also a copy of the leaflet on the internet at www.shetland.gov.uk/communitysafety