‘Don’t wait until you’re certain’ warns NSPCC

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A TOTAL of 110 referrals were made to police and child services in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust area following calls to the NSPCC helpline last year.

Of these, approximately one third waited more than six months to speak out and a further 21 per cent delayed seeking help by between one and six months.

In 2011/12, the helpline responded to 691 contacts from people in Northern Ireland - an increase of 58 per cent on the previous year.

The NSPCC provides an independent source of help and advice when there are concerns about children.

Margaret Gallagher, campaigns coordinator for the NSPCC in Northern Ireland, said that delays in reporting concerns may contribute to the suffering of a child experiencing abuse or neglect.

The helpline provides advice, guidance and support, and can take action if there are concerns. It can be reached at 0808 800 5000, email help@nspcc.org.uk, visit www.nspcc.org.uk/helpline or text 88858.