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A specialist child support and protection unit in Dundee is providing a unique service to children and families who...
A specialist child support and protection unit in Dundee is providing a unique service to children and families who have been the victims of child abuse, Scottish social work minister James Douglas-Hamilton said today.

Speaking as he visited the Polepark Family Counselling Centre in the city, Lord James said:

'All children need a degree of protection at some point in their lives, but none more so than those whose vulnerability has been intensified through abuse from someone close to them. That is why it is so important that this facility here at Polepark offers those who have been abused, and indeed the families of those who have been abused, both a listening ear and a broad shoulder to lean on.

'This highly specialised centre undertakes both therapeutic and assessment work with children and their families, drawing on the multi-disciplinary expertise of social workers, family counsellors, a home economist, a play therapist, together with teachers, health visitors and child psychiatrist. The emphasis placed on care, raising individual's self-esteem and building relationships is proving vital in ensuring that each child's voice is heard and acted upon.

'I am also delighted to see that this facility, which is managed by Dundee City Council, is also funded jointly by Dundee, Perth and Kinross, and Angus Councils. This level of co-operation is an example for other councils to follow within the new local authority structure in Scotland.'

-- Polepark Family Counselling Centre was established in 1989 as part of the former Tayside RC social work department.

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