Agenda item

Tom McCann asked the Executive Member for Children's Services the following question:


At the last meeting I raised a question about how someone who had been a victim of historical abuse could contact the Council.  I want to thank all Members who have contacted me offering me their help should I need it to help anyone who felt that they needed my help.  To my knowledge this was not the case but I thank you for your offer of help and concern.  The reason I raised the question was because I was made aware that this Council was thinking of starting up and opening up a Child Line like help facility for any child or person who felt abused in the past.  This would appear not to be the case.  I would like to ask other than what we currently do, what else are we likely to do in the near future should we have any children who feel that they may want to use this service?



The last time you asked this question you were not very specific and again you have been a little bit woolly.  Hotlines are set up throughout the country for very specific reasons and very specific circumstances as well and without having a particular reason to do so this Council would not set up a hotline.  It is on a needs basis to do something like that.  If there is information that we have, that is presented to us, in order for us to do something like that then of course we would act on it and when the information comes into a hotline then all of that information is disseminated and then passed on to the relevant authorities whether that be the Police or the Council to then act upon.  This Council already has really well established routes which are very well recognised within the community: routes for people to contact the Council raising concerns; and also routes through to the Police as well.  I hope that anyone with concerns would use those methods already out there.  Our key contact details are on the website, readily available for people to use.  We have our normal hours but also we have an Out of Hours service as well and this is very effective.  I have had an opportunity to use it in the past under circumstances which were necessary and it is effective and it does work.  All of our calls are dealt with by professional people who are trained at the end of the telephone as well so people can ring in with confidence and their calls are treated in a confidential manner as well.  I want to reassure people that we have facilities out there and they are dealt with professionally and I feel that we are already offering these services out there and should we need to set something up that is different to that then we would if the circumstances arose.  I know that you have approached the Director of Children’s Services and also the Chief Executive for a 1:1meeting and if you have very specific concerns that you are not raising tonight then I hope that they will be able to offer further advice.