A BARNSLEY safeguarding group is calling on members of the public to help identify children who may be experiencing harm or neglect.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the signs of harm that professionals usually look out for are harder to spot while children are at home.

Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership (BSCP) are keen to identify those who need additional support as part of the safeguarding work undertaken all year round by organisations in the BSCP.

Bob Dyson, the independent chair of Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership, said: “The public always has an important role to play in safeguarding our children but during the pandemic and its lockdown that has become even more vital.

“We are concerned that ‘hidden harms’ may be occurring and going unreported.

“If family members or neighbours are seeing children as part of a childcare bubble, or out in the community, and are concerned about any child’s welfare, please report your concerns.

“Services want to help families stay together wherever possible and get them the support they need.

“Keeping our children safe is a key priority that we are committed to, but we need the help of our local communities.”

Members of the public can report their concerns by ringing 999 if the child is in immediate danger.

The assessment team is on 772423 from Monday to Friday at 9am 5pm, and the emergency duty team on 787789 for out of hour urgent cases.

For more information, contact the Families Information Service on 0800 0345 340 or email them at earlyhelp@barnsley.gov.uk.