The action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm – is everyone's responsibility. Everyone who comes in to contact with children has a role to play. Working together to Safeguard Children, August 2013.
Abuse among children and young people - information for parents (Lucy Faithfull Foundation)
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF) is committed to reducing the risk of children being sexually abused. The LFF have a set up a website called 'Parents Protect' to prevent child sexual abuse by raising awareness and encouraging early recognition of warning signs of abuse.
To help parents understand more about the difference between healthy and developmentally expected sexual exploration and play, they have produced separate traffic light toolkit leaflets for parents of children under-5 and those aged 5 - 11. The leaflets are also available in Welsh. The leaflets can be downloaded from this page: www.parentsprotect.co.uk/age_appropriate_sexual_behaviour.htm
For professionals, the sexual health charity Brook, have more information about the Traffic Light Tool, which can be accessed here: https://www.brook.org.uk/our-work/the-sexual-behaviours-traffic-light-tool
Indecent images of children
The Home Office (HO) has launched a campaign to educate young people on the law relating to indecent images of children online. The campaign developed by the NSPCC, Marie Collins Foundation and the Internet Watch Foundation aims to prevent offending before it occurs and disrupt the escalation of harmful offending behaviour. Campaign resources include four short films illustrating the damage viewing indecent images of children can cause, posters, infographics and social media messages.
Source: Home Office Date: 09 March 2018
Further information: Indecent images of children: guidance for young people – includes links to short films
Stop online child sexual abuse campaign
Last week SnapChat, used regularly by many children and young people, launched a new feature. SnapMaps allows users to see the location of their contacts. This feature allows others to accurately pinpoint where you are. There are three possible privacy settings:
- Ghost mode, where only you can see your position;
- My Friends mode, where any contact can see your location; and
- Select Friends mode, just those who you choose can see you
ChildNet have posted a thorough explanation of SnapMaps and how to ensure users stay safe. Well worth a read to share with anyone you know who uses the app. Although I know many adults don't use these apps on a regular basis, if we are to protect children, we need to have at least a working knowledge of the risks and uses of such apps.
Further reading: Introducing SnapMaps (ChildNet)
Summer Time Safeguarding
Summer time, and particularly the summer holidays, can be full of hazards and risks to manage. Here's a roundup of some resources to help children and parents.
Shore Thing (RNLI)
Teenage Cancer Trust
Skcin (including their school accreditation scheme)
Network Rail - Primary school resources
Network Rail - Secondary school resources
Keeping safe away from home (NSPCC)
Keeping safe away from home (NSPCC)
Protection from sexual abuse
Whilst it’s an uncomfortable thought, parents need to ask questions of any childcare provider, play scheme or holiday centre children's services, about how they prevent their workers harming a child. The NSPCC has a useful video about the prevention of sexual abuse in particular and what adults can do to ask organisations about how they keep children safe. You can watch the video here: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse (NSPCC)
External Support Organisations
On Friday 15th September there was another terrible terrorist incident on a rush-hour London tube train. CitizenAid is an app created by experienced UK civilian and military clinicians to provide an easy use logical system of immediate actions. It is designed to guide the public to react safely, to pass effective messages to the emergency services, to prioritise the injured and to give life-saving first aid. The app can be downloaded for iOS, android and google.
Further Information: http://citizenaid.org
Dealing with unwanted requestes for sexual images
Voice Box, Childline’s weekly video chat, features Molly chatting about how to handle the pressure of being asked to send nudes, and what to do if you receive one. Childline has relaunched the Zipit app, which uses humour to help teenagers deal with unwanted requests for sexual images of themselves. The free app offers young people a gallery of images and animations which they can send in response to requests for sexual pictures and to deal with difficult sexting situations.
Date: 01 November 2017
Further Information: Zipit App
The 12 ways that Christmas shoppers can keep children and data safe when buying smart toys and devices (ICO)
Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Planning to spend a couple of hours in a Christmas Market or even on Amazon? This Christmas there will be more tech toys than ever before, and many of them will use bluetooth or wifi to link to apps and the wider internet. Some of these toys will have cameras and microphones recording the environment and the child's play. The Information Commissioner recently published an article looking at the risks of using smart toys and it is well-worth sharing it with parents.
Safety alert: see how easy it is for almost anyone to hack your child’s connected toys (Which?)
Which? Magazine have also surveyed many connected toys and found that, without appropriate safety features, they can also pose a big risk to your child’s safety.
The Which video below shows just how easy it is for anyone to take over the voice control of a popular connected toy, and speak directly to children. Which? found that it is easy enough for almost anyone to do, not only skilled hackers.
How professionals can help children explore the internet safely
The NSPCC’s children’s services hub on the Guardian website features a blog looking at how professionals can help children explore the internet safely. Tips and advice include: adults should familiarise themselves with the websites children visit; having regular and open conversations about online safety as soon as a child starts using technology; and keeping up-to date with new developments.
Source: Guardian article
Date: 01 December 2017
BBC launches Own It website
The BBC has launched Own It, a website for 9 to 12 year olds to help them maximise opportunities in the digital world as well as helping them to develop the confidence and resilience to tackle the everyday challenges they face online. The site includes quick links to charities and organisations including Childline to provide urgent support should children need it.
The NSPCC website is an amazing resource that contains lots of tips and advice on keeping our children safe. From talking PANTS to approaching difficult issues, they have a range of tips and advice to help you keep children safe whether they’re at home, out and about or online. Follow the link below, for more information. Have a lovely and safe Christmas. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/
The Resource Vault (Children's Society)
The Children's Society website is an absolute treasure-trove of information with just about everything young people need to know about emotional and mental health. Called the Resource Vault, the resources are organised by age group. Each entry has further links about where to find more information. Although aimed at young people themselves, it’s a good resources for staff working with them to dip into.
#DITTO Online safety magazine from the e-safety advisor Alan Mackenzie
Alan's latest newsletter is now available from his website. In the January 2018 edition Alan and his contributors discuss cyberbullying, live Streaming, sanctions and rewards and the Yubo app. In #DITTO JUNIOR there are articles from children and young people.
You can download #DITTO magazine here: http://www.esafety-adviser.com/latest-newsletter/
Children of Prisoners
Barnardos estimate that 200,000 children each year will experience the imprisonment of a parent. Research increasingly shows the impact that parental imprisonment can have on these children with poorer learning outcomes, isolation and financial difficulties. The charity created i-HOP, an information and advice service to support school staff in working with children affected by parental offending. Resources include:
Supporting children and families affected by a family member's offending - A Practitioner's Guide
Children affected by the imprisonment of a family member: A handbook for schools developing good practice
Pact is a national charity that provides support to prisoners, people with convictions, and their families. They work towards building stronger families and safer communities. The Pact website - http://www.prisonadvice.org.uk - has many resources to help support school staff, young people and parents.
The Pact Helpline is available on 0808 808 3444 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm); or by email to email@example.com
Other sources of support:
Action for Prisoners’ and Offenders’ Families
Happy Safer Internet Day 2018 - Tuesday 6th February
This year's theme was 'Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you'. Loads of resources can be found on the SID18 website, including these videos for all ages, including parents: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2018/sid-tv-2018
NSPCC report: online safety
The NSPCC has published a report reviewing the progress made in implementing the 38 recommendations for government to keep children safe online made by Professor Tanya Byron in the 2008 independent review Safer children in a digital world. The report finds that: 13 of the 38 recommendations have been implemented, and 25 issues remain unaddressed. The report looks at the influence of political change and online developments in the past 10 years and calls for the establishing of a set of minimum standards and a statutory code of practice for online providers which should: outline processes and procedures to ensure online platforms are safeguarding children effectively – including preventative measures to protect children from abuse; provide clear and consistent definitions of online abuse and exploitation; have clear and transparent processes for reporting, moderating and removing content from sites; verifying children’s ages and offering support to users when needed.
Source: NSPCC summary of 10 years since the Byron Review Date: 02 February 2018
Further information: Ten years since the Byron Review: are children safer in the digital world? PDF
NSPCC website update: Together for childhood
The NSPCC has updated its website to include information on Together for childhood, an evidence-informed approach bringing local partners and families together to make communities safer for children. Together for childhood aims to: prevent child abuse and neglect in families facing adversity; prevent child sexual abuse, and support children and their families.
Source: NSPCC Together for childhood webpage
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Voice Box, Childline’s weekly video chat, features therapist and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) specialist Katie d'Ath talking about the symptoms of OCD, and the different ways to get support.
Further information: Childline
Parental alcohol misuse and children
The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) has published a research briefing outlining what is known about the prevalence of parental alcohol misuse (PAM) in the UK, its impact on children’s physical and mental wellbeing, and services available for children. Key points include: parental alcohol misuse disrupts everyday routines and leads to inconsistent and unpredictable parenting- this means that children may feel isolated, stigmatised, and guilty, and may have to take on caring responsibilities; PAM is associated with neglect and domestic abuse, and child protection cases involving PAM have poorer welfare outcomes for children.
Source: UK Parliament
Further information: Parental alcohol misuse and children (PDF)
The Disrespect Nobody has a list of helplines that could be particularly useful for worries about relationships and sexual issues. Their list can be found here: https://www.disrespectnobody.co.uk/need-help
Parent Support Resources
Dove have resources to support parents in developing self-esteem in their children.
Find out more information here: https://www.dove.com/uk/dove-self-esteem-project/help-for-parents.html
Fiona Peacock was one of the contributors to MindEd, a free resource on children and young people's mental health for all adults, including parents and professionals.
Listen to my story
Listen to My Story is a resource to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE) developed by Merseyside Police, local councils, and other agencies throughout the Merseyside area, but is relevant to other areas too. Posters, stories and text help children find out how to keep themselves safe.
You can find more information here.
#DITTO eSafety Magazine (eSafety Advisor)
Alan Mackenzie is an excellent esafety advisor, and he writes a free downloadable magazine for teachers and parents called #DITTO. Alan can help you with advice, reviews, training and sessions for staff and governors, parents and children. Alan can even help you set up eCadets, a peer-led e-Safety programme.
The April 2018 edition of #DITTO is out now and covers privacy, skin gambling, online risky behaviour, gaming and the gaming app, Fortnite.
You can download #DITTO from Alan's website here.
Be Safe Around Dogs (Dogs' Trust)
Now that the children will be playing out and about much more, it is timely to remind them about being careful around dogs, especially if they don't know the dog, or don't have a pet. The Dogs' Trust have a really useful booklet about safety around dogs, written with Ambitious about Autism, which you can download here.
Be Share Aware
Number of online child abuse images continues to rise (IWF)
The UK-based International Watch Foundation (IWF) is a global reporting organisation for reporting and removing child sexual abuse images. Their 2017 report has just been published and sadly shows no let up in the number of abuse images there are online. In total, during 2017 there were 80,318 reports of confirmed child sexual abuse images, a 35% increase from 2016.
The IWF report shows that there has also been an increase in “commercial” hidden services – dedicated websites offering child sexual abuse imagery for sale. Many of these illegal images are stored in free to use cloud storage services. The IWF shows that 87% of these images were being stored in just five countries: Netherlands, USA, Canada, France and Russia; UK servers stored only 0.3%.
More information can be found here:
The full report can be downloaded here:
Video: Cutting the risk of self-harm, alcohol and drugs, and violence among vulnerable young people (NCB)
The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) have released a new video on their YouTube channel. 'Cutting the risk of self-harm, alcohol and drugs, and violence among vulnerable young people', The short film discusses how the number of young people estimated to self-harm is high, and on the rise.
An accompanying four-page document from the Children's Policy Research Unit, 'Cutting the Risk', can be downloaded here:
Hot Weather Advice
The sad death of a 13-year old boy has highlighted again the dangers of swimming in hot weather. It is perfectly natural to want to cool off when it's hot. Unsuitable rivers and quarries hide dangers below, not taking into accounts the hazards of freezing cold water and currents. Teenagers especially are drawn in by peers and a keenness for risky behaviours.
Some of these resources might be helpful for assemblies or tutor sessions.
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue
Home & Dry – No More River Deaths (West Mercia Search & Rescue)
RNLI - Float to Live
RNLI - Activity sheets and posters
Colin the Coastguard Posters
National Water Safety Signs - do you know what these mean?
Reservoir safety (United Utilities)
Don't be the one who watched their mate drown this summer
Particularly good package for use with teenagers
The Teenage Cancer Trust found that nearly two-thirds (61%) of young people aged 13-24 have avoided using sunscreen in order to get a better tan. As the weather gets hotter in the UK, we need to be more knowledgeable about keeping safe in the sun then ever before.
The damage done to young skin can lead to skin cancer developing in later life, so it's vital to help young people protect themselves in the sun.
Teenage Cancer Trust Resources
Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun (CBeebies)
Sun safety in schools (Skcin)
School sun exposure policy (NICE)
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has an article about creating a school sun exposure policy, in conjunction with Alderley Edge School for Girls, in Cheshire.
Adverse Childhood Experiences
Public Health Wales
A new study published in the journal BMC Public Health looking at Adverse Childhood Experiences in Wales, has identified the impact that early trauma has on a child’s education and prospects for good future health. The infographic below (downloadable by clicking on it) shows the impact of adversity on children. The study found "children with high levels of childhood adversity were seven times more likely to be absent from school more than 20 days a year.”
The full report can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/news/49278
Sky News this week reported on 15 ways that criminals use the internet. The report was based on the fifth annual Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA). I think it is well-worth familiarising yourself with these internet risks.
The SkyNews report is here: https://news.sky.com/story/europol-warns-of-15-ways-you-could-become-a-cyber-crime-victim-11501321
The threat assessment is here: www.europol.europa.eu/internet-organised-crime-threat-assessment-2018
Explaining miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a newborn baby to young children (Child Bereavement UK)
When a new baby is expected in a family, most young children will be looking forward to the birth as much as everyone else. Having to explain the death of an expected baby brother or sister is an incredibly hard thing to do. When deep in their own grief, it might feel just too much to have to start to think about what to say to a toddler or young child.
The charity have produced a leaflet to help parents (and others) to deal with a miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a newborn baby. You can download the leaflet here: https://childbereavementuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Explaining-miscarriage-stillbirth-or-death-of-a-newborn-baby-July-2018.pdf
Grief Support App
The charity have also created an app aimed at 11 - 25 years olds, available on both iOS and android. The app has information about bereavement, grief, feelings and how to help. There are stories from people affected, including short films written and made by bereaved young people. The app is also useful for friends, teachers, parents and professionals who would like to know how to support bereaved young people.
Grief: Support for Young People (Google Play/Android)
Grief: Support for Young People (iOS app)
Another useful source of support and information around bereavement is Winston's Wish. A useful summary of their support for children experiencing loss is here: www.winstonswish.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ww-0112-guideforpar.pdf
Help autistic children and young people cope with death (National Autistic Society)
It can be difficult to discuss death and bereavement, or help a child or adult with autism to cope with a death. Every autistic person, and their level of understanding, is different. The NAS have guidance here: https://www.autism.org.uk/about/family-life/bereavement.aspx#
National Autistic Society
Incidentally, the NAS have had launched their re-brand this week with a new logo, and a new vision for 'a society that works for autistic people'.
Find out more here: https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/about-us/rebrand.aspx
Rise in counselling sessions for peer sexual abuse
Childline counselling sessions with young people concerned about peer sexual abuse haven risen by 29 per cent since last year. Young people who spoke to Childline revealed a lack of understanding about consent, with some feeling unsure if something was abuse when they were in a relationship. Childline has re-launched its #ListenToYourSelfie campaign which encourages young people to seek help if they're in an unhealthy relationship.
Children with learning disabilities at risk of sexual exploitation
We know that children and young people with SEN and Disabilities are much more at risk of child abuse and neglect than most children.
The British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) have produced a series of leaflets for professionals, parents and carers, and young people themselves. You can find the leaflets under the 'Spotting the signs of child sexual exploitation' heading here: http://www.bild.org.uk/resources/cse-and-ld/unprotected-overprotected/
We All Have Mental Health: Animation & Teacher Toolkit (Anna Freud Centre)
The National Centre for Children and Families, have produced a really useful teaching resource called 'We all have mental health'. The animation and accompanying toolkit is aimed at Key stage 3 pupils. The materials were developed in collaboration with young people, teachers and mental health experts. The animation aims to give young people in Years 7 - 9:
• Consistent and accessible language to talk about mental health
• A better understanding of mental health self-care
• To know who to ask for support when it is needed
You can find the resources here: https://www.annafreud.org/wahmhtoolkit/
Advice for the parents and carers of teenagers (Anna Freud Centre)
The teenage years are both exciting and challenging to parent and carers. It can be hard to know whether a teenager's feelings and behaviour are normal or becoming a problem.
Anna Freud Centre's child mental health experts have written a leaflet to provide simple advice and guidance to parents and carers about how to make conversations about their child's feelings part of everyday life.
Download "Talking Mental Health with young people at secondary school: some advice for parents and carers" booklet here: https://www.annafreud.org/media/7223/secondary-parents-leaflet-final-proofed.pdf
Reading Well (Reading Agency)
The Reading Agency brings together partners from the public, private, and voluntary sectors to tackle life's big challenges through the proven power of reading.
The agency's 'Reading Well Books on Prescription' helps people understand and manage their health and wellbeing using self-help reading. The books are chosen by health experts and people living with the conditions covered.
The book recommendations for young people's mental health can be found here: https://reading-well.org.uk/books/books-on-prescription/young-people-mental-health
Safeguarding of deaf children (SignHealth)
On average, deaf children leave school with a lower reading age and miss out on the key messages about abuse given through mainstream media and by word-of-mouth. They cannot access information in the same way as their hearing peers, so deaf children and young people are largely unaware of support networks, or even what constitutes abuse.
Deaf children can be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect, and they are much more likely than hearing children to develop social, emotional or behavioural problems. The Deaf Health Charity, SignHealth, report that they are increasingly working with deaf young people who have experienced extreme forms of abuse, particularly Asian girls.
Young DeafHope is a unique project working with young Deaf people of eleven years and older, to raise awareness of abuse and domestic violence. The aim is to help young people change or avoid abusive behaviour, and to help them to have healthy relationships and stay safe.
You can find more information here:
Pants' Video in BSL (NSPCC)
The NSPCC's successful PANTs campaign is designed to allow parents to start easy conversations with their children without having to mention scary words like sex or abuse. It teaches them that their privates are private and that their body belongs to them.
The NSPCC has created a video in British Sign Language with subtitles and aim to teach deaf children about the Underwear Rule and encourages them to share secrets that upset them with a trusted adult.
You can find the video here:
Domestic abuse of deaf women
SignHealth's domestic abuse service, DeafHope, is the UK’s only sign-language based service to help Deaf women, men and children who experience domestic abuse. People who are Deaf are more at risk of domestic abuse than people who are hearing.
Further information can be found here: https://www.signhealth.org.uk/our-projects/deafhope-projects/deafhope-service/
Domestic Abuse Info In BSL
The charity have also produced videos about domestic abuse in British Sign Language. The videos can be found here: https://www.signhealth.org.uk/our-projects/deafhope-projects/deafhope-service/deafhope-bsl/