Prevention experts in County Durham have been unable to hold training sessions since March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
But leaders have insisted it is everyone’s responsibility to raise awareness of exploitation where they think it might be happening.
“Safeguarding is everyone’s business,” said Lucy Hovvels, cabinet member for adult and health services at Durham County Council.
“I think, in terms of us not being able to mix with people as we would do normally due to coronavirus, that it is more important than ever to be aware of the signs
“We all need to be aware of the signs and that any concerns we have are shared.”
Hovvels was speaking at a meeting of the council’s ruling cabinet, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.
According to a report for the panel by the Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership, despite the cancellation of training for organisation early in lockdown, new sessions compliant with COVID regulations have been developed and many of its partners are now returning to ‘some degree of business as usual’.
According to findings presented to cabinet, 2019/20 saw 444 children subject to child protection plans, equivalent to 50 per every child aged up to 18 in County Durham.
Of these, the most common reason for the measure being put in place was neglect, which accounted for 77.5 per cent of all those applied to children up to five years old.
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