Expert warning on child neglect

Coun Tony Williams and (below) Linda Lees, chairman of an NSPCC fundraising committee in Lytham.

Coun Tony Williams and (below) Linda Lees, chairman of an NSPCC fundraising committee in Lytham.

5
Have your say

A VOLUNTEER who has worked with neglected children for more than a decade says abuse will never be eradicated.

Last year in Blackpool, 338 protection plans were drawn up for children but Blackpool Council has stressed work is under way to tackle the problem and slash that figure.

Linda Lees, chairman of an NSPCC fundraising committee in Lytham.

Linda Lees, chairman of an NSPCC fundraising committee in Lytham.

The NSPCC is set to open a £2.5m centre for children next month to combat instances of child abuse and a range of new services will be made available for youngsters and their families.

But despite the positive work being carried out, Linda Lees, chairman of an NSPCC fundraising committee in Lytham, says neglect will never be totally wiped out.

She said: “We are a group of eight and have been raising money for 11 years.

“We raise as much money as we can for the NSPCC and we hope they use it for the best advantage of the children.

“When we first got involved we went to a centre where people had been abused and neglected and we were shocked at what we saw.

“That’s why we decided to help, but we recognise the fact it’s never going to be stamped out because one generation breeds abuse in the next.”

Click here to register with The Gazette website to enable you to comment on stories.

Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, told The Gazette he is working on a system which will reduce the number of children in care.

But Tony Williams, leader of the opposition, said: “Coun Blackburn is not looking at the escalating larger picture.

“Around half of children who entered care as a result of abuse or neglect are abused again when they return.

“Children tell the NSPCC that they suffer repeated instances of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

“We still have to manage the problem before we can make inroads to the solution.

“We need to develop the correct facilities here in the town and control the costs.”

Linda Evans, service manager for the NSPCC in Blackpool, says new measures are being introduced to tackle neglect in Blackpool.

The North Carolina Family Assessment Scale (NCFAS) is being used as a technique to determine how a family functions by assessing behavioural traits.

She said: “We are going to be working closely with children in social care to deliver an American tool which is used to identify where neglect has been an active risk.

“It’s been tried and tested in America and had very good results, so we are using this to strengthen and support our assessments.

“I believe we can have a positive impact.”

Follow us on twitter @The_Gazette and like our page on facebook to keep up with all the latest news.