Belfast Telegraph

Worried about neighbour's child

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

I’m very worried about the little girl who lives a few doors down from me.

I’m sure her parents go out at night and leave her on her own and she’s only about four years old.

When I see her out in the front of the flat, she never seems to have enough clothes on for the weather and she looks dirty and malnourished too.

My husband says I shouldn’t interfere and I don't want to cause a problem with my neighbours, but I am worried.

He says if there is a problem the school will pick it up, but I’m not sure she’s even going to school yet.

Is there a way of doing something without people finding out it’s me who’s said something? LJ

FIONA SAYS: BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

There are children being neglected and abused all the time and if no one takes action, the problem will continue.

My view is that it's better to be safe than sorry, so if you think this child is in need of help, do something.

The place to start is with the local social care department provided by the council. Staff are available 24 hours a day and you can find the details online or in the phone book. Even if you're not sure whether there's a problem, it's still a good idea to make contact or call the police to discuss your concerns.

Action for Children has a lot of information on its website about both neglect and abuse.

It may be that the charity is also able to help the parents of this child as well as the child herself.

Finally, don't forget that if you see anything that causes you immediate concern, you can always call the police as an emergency.

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