During the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we would like to reassure you that we are working hard to maintain business continuity and remain committed to safeguarding adults, children and young people in Warrington.  

We have adapted our day to day work to include ‘virtual’ meetings and the next few months will present new challenges for our key partnership agencies. We would ask all agencies to continue to remain vigilant in recognising and responding to potential additional safeguarding demands, especially those arising from the pandemic. 

The Warrington Safeguarding Partnership Team will continue to prioritise work on Safeguarding Practice Reviews (SPR’s). If you would like any additional information or have any questions please email Warrington Safeguarding Partnership Team.

General advice about COVID-19

During the current outbreak we want to help keep adults children and young people at risk safe from abuse, and up to date by sharing information. The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. 

Hand washing

NHS advice

Warrington Borough Council - Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice in other languages

Multi-agency working
  1. Meetings will not be held in the usual way but statutory responsibilities will be fulfilled and families and professionals will have a chance to contribute.  Views and contributions will be sought virtually via email and direct contact will be made with children and families where possible either via the use of telephone or Skype.
  2. School places are to remain open for vulnerable children. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children with education, health and care (EHC) plans. Those who have a social worker include children who have a child protection plan and those who are looked after by the local authority. Children may also be deemed vulnerable if they have been assessed as being in need or otherwise meet the definition in section 17 of the Children Act 1989.
  3. Those with an EHC plan should be risk-assessed by settings in consultation with the local authority and parents, to decide whether they still need a childcare place, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home.
  4. The partnerships website and online procedures will continue to be available to practitioners to consult.
  5. Multi-agency training planned for the foreseeable future is cancelled.

If you experience any difficulties with these arrangements please discuss with your manager and follow the escalation procedures.

Child protection conferences

In light of the current outbreak, how our safeguarding and quality assurance service facilitate the following meetings will change temporarily. This is to ensure we are protecting the health of you, and others, as well as ensuring we look after the safety of your children.

    Information for parents, carers and families

    A referral was recently made to children’s targeted services which led to the involvement of a social worker with your family. Further discussions with you, and also with other professionals, has led to the decision about the need for a child protection conference. 

    We will not be holding the usual meetings but we will still make sure that child protection plans are considered and reviewed and whilst you will not be able to attend a meeting, instead you are invited to contribute to the process on or before date. 

    You will be sent a letter in advance of the child protection conference, explaining what date the conference will take place.

    The conference will be completed as a series of telephone calls during the date you are given and the conference chair will make attempts to contact you at this time.

    You will be asked to complete a contribution form. Alternatively, you can email or the conference chair on contact details that you will be provided with.           

    Your contribution should provide positive information about what you think is going well and suggestions about what you, or other agencies, could do to change any aspects of your current plan that are not working.

    Information for professionals

    Following recent government advice in relation to managing COVID-19, and to keep people at the lowest risk possible, until further notice, the safeguarding and quality assurance service will be facilitating business differently until further notice.  

    We will not be holding meetings in the usual way but we will still make sure that statutory responsibilities are fulfilled and that families and you have a chance to contribute. 

    We will seek your views and contributions virtually via email and we will make direct contact with people where possible either via the use of telephones or Skype. It would be really helpful if you could let us know what IT systems you have and if you have a compatible ‘Skype in business’ system.

    Government response to COVID-19

    You will be sent a letter in advance of the child protection conference, explaining what date the conference will take place.

    If you are not currently working with the children or their family but have information relevant to the child protection conference, please provide this prior to the date of the conference. If you are currently working with the family please be available to contribute to the conference by telephone.

    24 hours in advance of the conference, please ensure that you email a copy of your report to the secure email address and that you have shared your report with the parents.

    The conference chair will be completing the conference as a series of telephone calls in the morning/afternoon of this day, so will make attempts to contact you at this time.

    Your contribution should provide positive information about what you think is going well and suggestions about what you, or other agencies, could do to change any aspects of the current plan that are not working.

    Child in need reviews

    In light of the current outbreak, how our safeguarding and quality assurance service facilitate the following meetings will change temporarily, to ensure we are protecting the health of you, and others, as well as ensuring we look after the safety of your children.

    Information for professionals

    Following recent government advice in relation to managing COVID-19, and to keep people at the lowest risk possible, until further notice, the safeguarding and quality assurance service will be facilitating business differently until further notice.  

    We will not be holding meetings in the usual way but we will still make sure that statutory responsibilities are fulfilled and that families and you have a chance to contribute.  

    We will seek your views and contributions virtually via email and we will make direct contact with people where possible either via the use of telephones or Skype. It would be really helpful if you could let us know what IT systems you have and if you have a compatible ‘Skype in business’ system.

    Visit the government website for further information and advice 

    Case reviews for children in care

    In light of the current outbreak, how our safeguarding and quality assurance service facilitate the following meetings will change temporarily, to ensure we are protecting the health of you, and others, as well as ensuring we look after the safety of your children.

    Information for carers

    You will receive a letter detailing how the young person’s review will be undertaken.

    At this present time we will not be holding the usual reviews but we will still make sure that care plans are reviewed and that you have the chance to contribute.  

    You will be asked to complete a contribution form and encourage the child to contribute if they wish. Alternatively, you can email or contact, the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO), details will be provided in the letter.           

    The review process is the young person’s, and IRO’s, opportunity to ask questions about adult actions in relation to the care plan and for the young person to have their say. The role of the IRO is to make sure everyone is doing what they should to support the young person. The review meeting is not a forum for adults to question the young person or criticise their behaviour.

    Your contribution should provide positive information about what you think is going well for  the young person and suggestions about what you, or other agencies, could do to change any aspects of the care plan that are not working.

    There is information about reviews on Warrington’s All About Us website 

    The website also has lots of useful ideas about how children and young people can participate in the review including an interactive review report, that they can design and complete themselves.

    Information for professionals

    Following recent government advice in relation to managing COVID-19, and to keep people at the lowest risk possible, until further notice, the safeguarding and quality assurance service will be facilitating business differently until further notice.  

    We will not be holding meetings in the usual way but we will still make sure that statutory responsibilities are fulfilled and that families and you have a chance to contribute.  

    We will seek your views and contributions virtually via email and we will make direct contact with people where possible either via the use of telephones or Skype. It would be really helpful if you could let us know what IT systems you have and if you have a compatible ‘Skype in business’ system.

    Safeguarding children

    Reporting abuse

    If you are concerned that a child, young person or a vulnerable adult, is at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect, or you yourself are a victim of abuse, you should report it straight away.

    • Report any safeguarding concerns about a child or young person to Children's Safeguarding/Social Work Team on 01925 443322
    • Outside of office hours ring us on 01925 444400
    • If you believe a crime has been committed contact the police on 101
    • If you believe the child is at immediate risk of harm, call 999

    We all have a responsibility to be alert to possible concerns and act to safeguard others in our families and communities who may be less able to protect themselves.

    Professionals

    If you're a teacher, doctor, nurse, youth worker, etc, please use the multi-agency request for services (MARS) form to refer a child or young person who you think may be vulnerable or at risk. Please send your completed form from a secure email address e.g. GCSx/nhs.net/pnn.police/cjsm.

    Self-isolation and lockdown - advice from parenting leads

    Top tips from Warrington’s Parenting Leads on how to help your household be pleasant and as stress free as possible during the coronavirus outbreak. 

    Start as you mean to go on

    Try getting together as a family for 10 minutes, sit down and be open and honest with what is happening bearing in mind your children’s ages/stages of understanding. We are all uncertain and nothing like this generation has ever experienced.

    Create a sense that you are all in it together and think together about what will need to happen to keep the house calm and pleasant. This is not an opportunity to start blaming each other or nit picking. Keep the conversation calm and positive, focus on realistic solutions rather than problem. Reminding them of the positives e.g. quality time together, opportunities for the time to do fun activities at home.  

    What will help you all get through this together? Do you need a set of house rules? E.g. we listen to one another. We find a quiet spot if we need to calm down. We take turns. We talk to each other calmly. 

    Empathise and model

    It’s really frustrating not being able to see your friends or being stuck at home. If you are feeling like this, you can bet your children are feeling it even more so. It’s ok to feel frustrated, but it’s how you manage that frustration that counts. If you start shouting and stomping about, your children are learning how to shout and stomp. No matter the age of your child or teenager, they are still learning how to manage difficult emotions. By empathising with them calmly, you are showing that you are there for them, you understand them and that you can help them. 

    For example: “I know it’s really frustrating that we can’t go to your friends, I’m frustrated too. But we can have lots of fun together instead because we all need to stay at home so we can stay healthy”. 

    For older children who may have more understanding they may be feeling anxious “It seems scary right now, but I think you are doing a great job as being really brave and helpful.” 

    Maintain routines

    Whilst you will be out of your normal routine, keeping your day to a structure will help children to feel emotionally secure during an unpredictable time. Whilst it may be tempting to let all routines slip, what can start out as fun initially can cause difficulties if a few days’ time. Maintaining bedtimes and bedtime routines will ensure that they sleep well and that you have more opportunity to get time to yourself once they are in bed. 

    Putting a structure in helps children to know what is going to happen each day and feel emotionally secure. E.g. morning routine, TV/film time, get dressed, baking activity, lunch, go for a walk outside/ play in the garden, start preparing tea, tea time, play, bedtime routine. If your child has been mentally and physically stimulated during the day they will be able to sleep better. 

    It is likely that children will be provided with school work during school closure. Allocating a set time each day to do this will support their learning and help with your routine. Get the children to help create your own! 

    Home schooling

    Don’t get too hung up over ‘home schooling’ your children. Looking back on this time your children will not remember what they learnt, but what it felt like. Stressing yourself over school work will make it unpleasant for everyone. Yes take time each day to sit and help your children with any work they may receive from school, but it will not be realistic to expect to spend a full day ‘learning’.

    Children learn from watching you, through their lived experiences and through play. Take time to build dens out of pillows, bake together, play board games and read stories together. Give them lots of praise and encouragement for what they are doing well, this will keep them motivated for longer, rather than criticise or correct what they are getting wrong.

    Older children and teenagers - let them show you what they’ve been learning and generate discussions on how learning was different for you. Have sometime creating activities together that they have an interest in. 

    Mealtimes

    If you aren’t normally able to sit and eat as a family, try using this opportunity to have meals together. Children will learn mealtime social skills by watching you. If meals out as usually problematic, starting eating together will give you the opportunity to help children to learn to sit at the table, use cutlery and wait for everyone to finish before getting up. Maintaining normal mealtimes will help with keeping a simple daily routine.

    Try involving your children in preparing meals with you. If you have more than one child, allocate each child a day to cook with you so it’s fair for all. Cooking with children can take longer, whilst you may be self-isolating as a family this is a perfect opportunity to take that time together. 

    Jamie Oliver's tips for getting cooking with kids

    Self-care

    Taking time for yourself is going to be even trickier but even more important during these challenging times. Finding 10 minutes for yourself each morning and evening can be vital in maintaining your wellbeing as a parent. 

    Happy?OK?Sad?

    Mind

    Modelling to children how to take time out for yourself will help them to learn this skills E.g. I’m feeling a little stressed, I’m going to give myself a five minute time out to calm down.  

    Avoiding arguments

    When we spend prolonged period of time together we naturally see all the negatives about someone. To keep children motivated and calm it can be really helpful to look out for the things that they have done and give praise/high five/appreciation for those things, rather than criticise what they’ve not done. E.g. thank you so much for putting some of your toys away, that’s really helpful (rather than, “finally, how many times have I asked, you’ve not even finished yet”.  

    This is a useful tip for all family members and partners e.g. “thanks for helping make lunch” (instead of “there was too much butter on those sandwiches, I’ll just do it next time”).

    Keep it positive (easier said than done!)

    This refers to your commands. Tell children what you want them to start doing instead, then you can praise them for doing it. Avoid ‘stop’ or ‘don’t’ commands – what if I said to you “don’t think of a pink elephant!” What are you thinking of? By telling children exactly what you want them to do, you are helping them know what is expected of them. E.g. put your feet on the floor please (as opposed to stop climbing). Use your quiet voice (instead of stop shouting).  Top tip – this approach works with teenagers and partners as well. 

    Exercise

    Scheduling time to exercise each day, both for yourself and your children. Exercise will help to break up the, burn off energy and support your mental health during this time. Kids will love getting involved in online exercise videos with you and having a laugh whilst young children will be happy to dance, jump and copy your movements. Remember to keep your children safe and do not let them use weights (although building a pretend weight out of Lego could be a really fun activity).

    The Body Coach PE Lessons on YouTube

    Screen time

    Whilst is maybe tempting for yourself to be constantly checking the news either on tv or on your phone/ table this could cause a couple of problems. 1) Children may be exposed to worrying things on the tv news which can cause anxiety. 2) Children will misbehave to get your attention when you are immersed online. 

    If you are not working from home, trying to practice being present in the room. If you are not distracted by your phone, then you won’t get frustrated by little ones wanting your attention. Use this time as an opportunity to learn about the digital world and safety for you and your children.

    Online Safety from ParentZone 

    Working from home

    Try to set aside time for interaction and play throughout the day – even 10 minutes can satisfy children. Setting a timer on your phone can help you to stick to your play time with them and also helps young children to understand those boundaries. “You play whilst I do some work. As soon as the alarm on my phone rings I will come and play with you. When the alarm rings again, then I’ll do some more work until the next alarm” [and so on]. This will also add into the element of structure and routine that supports children to feel secure and learnt that what you say you mean.

    And remember, we are all going to meet our colleague’s children on Skype at some point over the next few weeks …and that’s okay! Children don’t know work place etiquette and why would we want them to? 

    The attention rule

    Remember, whether it’s positive or negative, children want your attention and they want it now. By giving positive attention to positive behaviour your child is more likely to repeat that behaviour to get your attention. If they manage to get your attention for negative behaviour, then they will repeat that behaviour more.

    Don’t take positive behaviours for granted, notice when they are playing calmly, sharing toys, sitting well, trying food, brushing teeth, having a bath, getting dressed. Noticing those small positives can help you all feel more positive. For teenagers, getting a rise out of you for a negative behaviour is just the same. Notice when they do something well and give them a simple ‘thanks for that’. Be genuine but not over the top or sarcastic, that will just aggravate them (as it would you).

    Notice you own mood

    Are you having a good day or a bad day? Are you over reacting to a behaviour that yesterday wouldn’t have been an issue? This can be very confusing for children and they don’t know what behaviour is expected. Be kind to yourself and be kind to your children, this is a really strange time and nothing like we normally experience. If it’s odd for us, imagine how it might feel for your children.

    A special note about teenagers

    Over the coming weeks your teenagers will probably express ideas and views that you don’t agree with or you think is just plain wrong. Immediately disagreeing or shutting down the conversation will only aggravate the situation and lead to an unpleasant environment. They are simply trying things out on you, things they have read or heard from others. Listen to them and respond with an interested question, let them explain and then try exploring other general viewpoints on the topic.  

    Your goal is to show that you are interested in what they have to say and that their opinion matters, not to challenge it or make fun of it that would only put them against you and during the current situation that would not be helpful for anyone.

    Practice kindness

    Help model kindness and community to your children. Spend time thinking with them how you can help neighbours or the wider community. You could litter pick in front of your house if it is safe to do so or contact the local nursing home and write letters or draw pictures to the residents who will be isolated from their families. Remember, kindness starts at home.

    Schools, early years, children’s social care and skills providers

    Ofsted: rolling update is guidance and information relating to COVID-19 for schools, early years, children's social care and further education and skills providers.

    Latest information from Ofsted

    Warrington Borough Council - Education, Schools and Childcare

    Visit the government website for further information and advice

    Domestic abuse and coercive/controlling behaviour

    Home isn’t always a safe place for children or adults and the current restrictions can make home even less safe. There have been reports in the national and international press of an increase in domestic abuse during the COVID-19 restrictions.

    At this time, Warrington has not seen a significant increase in referrals. However, we cannot be complacent, especially at this time when abuse is even more hidden and it is important that we all help people at risk of abuse within their own homes. Domestic abuse impacts on adult victims and children.

    We need your help - friends, neighbours, key workers; if you are worried about someone you know or someone you have come across in your role as a key worker don’t allow the abuse to go unnoticed / unreported.  

    See below for contact details and referral information 

    What are the signs of domestic abuse?

    They’re not always as obvious as you might think. That’s because domestic abuse is about controlling someone’s mind and emotions as much as hurting their body. Being abused can leave victims scared and confused. It can be hard for individuals to see their partner’s actions for what they really are. We can all help by keeping an eye out for the signs.

    Signs someone is being abused

    It is very difficult to create a definitive list of signs that domestic abuse is happening because abuse can occur on many levels and both victims and alleged or known perpetrators can behave and respond in a range of different ways. The following list of signs of behaviour for victims is not exhaustive, and should not be used as a definitive list but should be used as guidance. 

    Keep an eye out for things like:

    • May have unexplained bruises/injuries, and may give other reasons for the injuries which refer to them being accidental
    • Anxious about using video conferencing - may only use telephone/text
    • Personality changes, like low self-esteem in someone who was always confident/becoming unusually quiet or withdrawn
    • Constantly checking in with their partner/overly worried about pleasing their partner
    • Never having money on hand
    • Skipping out on social interaction for no clear reason
    • Wearing clothes that don’t fit the season, like long sleeves in summer to cover bruises
    • Has panic attacks
    • Has frequent absences from work or other commitments; 
    • Stops talking about her/his partner
    • May never be seen alone, and is always accompanied by their partner 
    • May become more isolated, withdrawing from friends and family
    • Go along with everything their partner says and does
    • Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing

    Additional information and support:

    Cheshire is 'opening the door' on unhealthy relationships

    • Are you, or someone you know, in a relationship that doesn’t feel quite right?
    • Is one person in the relationship controlling, manipulative, abusive, or violent?

    If so, this is an unhealthy relationship and is defined as domestic abuse.

    What happens behind closed doors doesn’t have to stay there. The open the door website has been designed to help you if you, or someone you know, is in relationship that doesn’t feel quite right. Cheshire is opening the door on unhealthy relationships to bring domestic abuse out into the open.

    Visit the open the door website

    Visit the Safelives website

    National Domestic Abuse Helpline Website

    Support for perpetrators

    If you know someone at risk or you are at risk yourself you do not need to stay where you are not safe.  

    Adult social care first response team and children's safeguarding/social work team - 01925 443322 (Out of office hours 01925 444400)

    Report abuse of a vulnerable adult 

    MARS form

    Information on domestic abuse

    If you think a crime has been committed, ring the police on 101. If you think someone is at immediate risk ring the police on 999.

    Local Government Association guidance
    Staying safe online

    With schools currently closed (or running at a limited capacity), children and young people are likely to be spending more time online. It is important to remind ourselves about how to stay safe online.

    Keeping your kids safe online booklet

    Childline - tips to stay safe online

    There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself safe online.

    Think before you post

    Don’t upload or share anything you wouldn’t want your parents, carers, teachers or future employers seeing. Once you post something, you lose control of it, especially if someone else screenshots or shares it.

    Don’t share personal details

    Keep things like your address, phone number, full name, school and date of birth private, and check what people can see in your privacy settings. Remember that people can use small clues like a school logo in a photo to find out a lot about you.

    Watch out for phishing and scams

    Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them information, like your password. Someone might also try to trick you by saying they can make you famous or that they’re from a talent agency. Never click links from emails or messages that ask you to log in or share your details, even if you think they might be genuine. If you’re asked to log into a website, go to the app or site directly instead.

    Think about who you’re talking to

    There are lots of ways that people try to trick you into trusting them online. Even if you like and trust someone you’ve met online, never share personal information with them like your address, full name, or where you go to school. Find out more about grooming.

    Keep your device secure

    Make sure that you’re keeping your information and device secure.

    Never give out your password

    You should never give out your password or log-in information. Make sure you pick strong, easy to remember passwords.

    Cover your webcam

    Some viruses will let someone access your webcam without you knowing, so make sure you cover your webcam whenever you’re not using it.

    Useful resources for parents

    If you are a parent, there are lots of websites with useful resources about keeping your child safe online.

    CEOP

    NSPCC

    Saferinternet.org

    Internet matters

    Think you know

    Talking to children about coronavirus

    There are lots of helpful aids to assist you in talking to children and young people about COVID-19

    Talking to children about coronavirus - guidance from the British Psychological Society 

    The Educational Psychology Service support to schools and parents have provided a useful guide of resources:

    BBC - How to protect your mental health

    ChildMind: Talking to Children

    CBBC: Video and Questions

    Young Minds: Feeling Anxious about Coronavirus

    Anxiety and world news from Hey Sigmund 

    Talking about world trauma with kids 

    ELSA: Coronavirus Story for Children

    Smiling Mind
    A great mindfulness app/website for the whole family (Age 7+). Many children use Smiling Mind in class as a way to help calm and focus their brains and bodies 

    Cosmic Kids
    Combines Yoga and mindfulness for kids ages 3+. This is a great resource and many children have experience of using it in UK classrooms 

    Books

    Something Bad Happened
    A Kid’s Guide to Coping with events in the News. How to process different world events by Dawn Huebner (Ages 6-12). 

    What To Do When You’re Scared and Worried
    A Guide for Kids. A help guide to processing fears and worries by James J Crist  (Ages 9-13)

    Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud
    Encourages positive behaviour and expressing kindness and appreciation

    How are you Peeling: Foods with Moods
    Saxton Freymann & Joost Elffers Explores how emotions look through pictures of Foods. Despite the title it is a good way to talk about emotions with young kids.

    The Way I Feel
    By Janan Cain Explores Feelings,  a good way to talk about emotions with young children.

     

    Some resources on bereavement include:

    Primary: 

    The Day the Sea Went Out and Never Came Back
    By Margot Sunderland, a story for children who have lost someone they love (ages 4-12).

    Always and Forever
    B
    y Durrant & Gliori (ages 3-5)

    The Badger’s Parting Gift
    By Susan Varley 

    Grandad’s Island
    By Benji Davies, a beautiful book that shows how those who are dear to us remain near to us – however far away they may seem

    Secondary:

    About Death for Teenagers
    How to cope with losing someone you love by Earl Grollman

    Dying, Death and Grief
    Working with adult bereavement by Brenda Mallon

    Healing Activities for Grieving Children and Teens

    Spotlight on neglect

    We need your help - friends, neighbours, key workers, if you are worried about a child/children you know or child/children you have come across in your role as a key worker don’t allow Neglect to go unnoticed/unreported. This could involve arranged visits to families as part of your work or simply dropping off deliveries or prescriptions to families in need.

    During social distancing and lockdown measures we need to be alert to the signs of possible abuse and neglect. 

    What is neglect?

    Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

    • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
    • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
    • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers)
    • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

    It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

    (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018)

    Signs and symptoms of neglect, things to look out for:

    Physical care

    The child’s appearance

    • The child’s clothes are filthy, ill-fitting and they smell. They might be unsuitable for weather.
    • The child may sleep in the same clothes they had on during the day, not replaced with clean clothes even when soiled.
    • The carer is hostile to advice when told about the need to provide appropriate clothing for child.
    • The child looks dirty, and is not bathed.
    • Teeth not brushed and lice and skin conditions become chronic.
    • The carer is hostile to nappy rash advice and does not treat.
    • The carer is hostile to concerns raised about child’s lack of hygiene.

    Feeding and eating

    • The child receives inadequate quantity of food and observed to be hungry.
    • There is evidence of low quality food, predominance of sweets or ‘junk’ food.
    • Special dietary requirements are never met.
    • The carer is hostile to advice about food.

    Healthcare

    • The child' needs are not considered.
    • The carer is indifferent or hostile to safe sleep advice, views advice as interference.
    • The carer is hostile to advice about impact of drugs, alcohol and smoking on safe sleeping.
    • The carer only seeks health advice in an emergency.
    • The carer has allowed the child’s health to deteriorate before seeking help.
    • The carer is hostile to advice about when to seek medical help.
    • Preventative health appointments are not attended, even if home appointment arranged.
    • The carer does not ensure completion of prescribed medication or treatment plan and is hostile to advice on this.
    • The carer does not recognise the impact of failure to meet health needs on the child.
    • The carer does not recognise the identity of a child with a disability or chronic health condition, and as a result is negative about child.
    • The carer does not ensure health needs relating to disability or health condition are met and leads to a deterioration in the child’s condition.
    • Parents’ own issues impact on their ability to respond to urgent health needs of a disabled child, or child with a chronic health condition.
    • The carer is hostile when asked to seek help for the child and is hostile to any advice or support around the child’s disability or health condition.

    Where is the child living? - accommodation

    • Is the child living in their own home with parents and carers? Or are they living with others? – Is this a private fostering arrangement? Private fostering 
    • Accommodation is in dangerous disrepair and has caused number of accidents and poor health for child.
    • The home is squalid, lacks essentials of working toilet, bath facilities, bedding, food preparation facilities.
    • The home smells. Faeces or harmful substances are visible when you visit.
    • The child has experienced numerous moves often at short notice.
    • The home is overcrowded.
    • There are animals that pose a risk to children in the home.

    Safety and supervision

    • The carer does not recognise dangers to child’s safety, can be hostile to advice.
    • There is a lack of supervision around traffic and an unconcerned attitude.
    • There is a lack of supervision, child contained in car seats/ pushchairs for long periods of time.
    • The carers are indifferent to whereabouts of child, no boundaries, carer hostile to advice, lacks recognition of impact on child’s wellbeing.
    • The carer does not respond to the needs of the baby, dangerous handling / baby left unattended.
    • Baby lacks adult attention and contact.
    • Children (0-7yrs) left alone, in company of young child or unsuitable person.
    • The child often found wandering/ locked out.
    • The carer is hostile/unable to take on board advice and guidance about giving safe care.
    • The child is exposed to multiple carers.
    • The carer is indifferent to whereabouts of child and child’s whereabouts often unknown.
    • The child is frequently going missing.
    • There is no appropriate supervision of child’s access to social media.
    • There is no guidance or boundaries about safe relationships including appropriate friendships and sexual relationships.
    • Relationships are not age appropriate.
    • The child’s needs are not met. There is a lack of recognition by carer that child requires guidance and protection. The carer does not recognise or address risky behaviour.

    Emotional care

    Emotion and behaviour

    • The carer does not show emotional warmth to child, emotional response tends to be harsh or critical.
    • The carer shows hostility to advice and support.
    • The carers do not provide any reward or praise and can ridicule child if others praise.
    • The child has caring responsibilities which are inappropriate and impact on their educational and leisure opportunities. The impact is not well understood by carer.
    • The carer provides few or no boundaries, treats child harshly when responding to their behaviour.
    • Physical chastisement is used and other harsh methods of discipline.
    • The carer hostile to advice about appropriate boundaries/methods of discipline.
    • Carers frequently argue in front of children and there is domestic abuse.
    • There is indifference to the impact on child, inability to put their needs first.
    • The carer actively encourages negative attitudes from the child, at times condones antisocial behaviour.
    • The carer is indifferent to smoking under-age drinking, no advice provided.
    • Children are allowed to watch/play inappropriate material/ games.
    • The carer frequently talks about depression/suicide in front of the child – may have attempted suicide in front of child.
    • The carer can hold child responsible for feelings/ depression.
    • The carer will not engage in support and can be hostile to advice.
    • There is evidence of significant misuse of substances. The carer significantly minimises use and is hostile to advice, support - refuses to engage.
    • The carer cannot respond to child’s needs.
    • There is an absence of a wider supportive network.
    • The child exposed to abusive/ frightening behaviour of carer or other adults.

    Attachment and emotional care

    • The carer rejects the parenting role and takes a hostile attitude to child care responsibilities.
    • The carer does not see that they have a responsibility to the child and believe the child is totally responsible for themselves, or the child deserves hostile parenting.
    • The carer may seek to give up responsibility for the child.

    Developmental care

    Development and education

    • The carer provides limited or no stimulation.
    • The carer gets angry at demands made by child.
    • The carer is hostile to professional advice.
    • The child is restrained for the carer’s convenience, such as in a pram.
    • There is little or no stimulation provided.
    • The carer provides few toys/ games – usually from other sources - not well kept.
    • There are few if any activities for the child.
    • The carer makes little or no effort to support education/school.
    • There is a lack of engagement, no support for homework.
    • The carer does not regard attendance as a concern.
    • The carer does not encourage child to see any area of education as positive.
    • The carer is hostile to friendships and shows no interest/support.
    • The carer is indifferent to child bullying or being bullied.

    Concerned about a child?

    If you are concerned that a child, young person or a vulnerable adult, is at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect, or you yourself are a victim of abuse, you should report it straight away so that the appropriate services can take the appropriate actions to prevent harm.

    Report any safeguarding concerns about a child or young person to:

    • Children's Safeguarding/Social Work Team on 01925 443322
    • Outside of office hours ring us on 01925 444400
    • If you believe a crime has been committed contact the police on 101
    • If you believe the child is at immediate risk of harm, call 999

    The Lucy Faithfull Foundation run a confidential helpline 

    Stop It Now! (0808 1000 900) – for anyone who is concerned about their own behaviour or the behaviour of others. This can be accessed by any member of the public or by professionals who need advice. There is also a secure messaging service and information and advice on their website.

    Child exploitation

    When a child or young person is exploited they can be groomed by being given, drugs, money, gifts, status and affection. This is usually in exchange for carrying out a criminal activity, known as child criminal exploitation or performing sexual activities, known as child sexual exploitation.

    Children can be taken to places in and outside of their home area known as trafficking to be exploited. They can be moved around different places in the country and abused by being forced to take part in criminal or sexual activities. Young people in gangs can also be exploited.

    Sometimes abusers use violence and intimidation to frighten or force a child or young person, making them feel as they’ve no choice. They may give large sums of money or items, such as drugs, they can’t be repaid in order to control a young person.

    Criminal exploitation takes many forms, the most common relating to the supply and movement of drugs (often referred to as “County Lines”), offences in relation to guns and other weapons, money laundering, violent offences and in some cases “cuckooing” where criminals forcibly take over control of a person’s home.

    The NSPCC website and The Children’s Society website offer useful advice and resources on criminal exploitation.

    Spotting the signs of child criminal exploitation

    • Being found in areas away from home
    • Increasing drug use, or being found to have large amounts of drugs in their possession
    • Being secretive about who they are talking to and where they are going
    • Unexplained absences from school, college, training or work
    • Unexplained money, phone(s), clothes or jewellery
    • Increasingly disruptive or aggressive behaviour
    • Coming home with injuries or looking particularly dishevelled
    • Having hotel cards or keys to unknown places
    • Returning home late, staying out all night or going missing
    • Using sexual, drug-related or violent language you wouldn’t expect them to know

    View the clip below that highlights the signs that parents can look out for

    Child Criminal Exploitation.

     

    Concerns about Radicalisation

    Radicalisation can be really difficult to spot. Signs that may indicate a child is being radicalised include:

    Changes in Behaviour that incude;

    • Being short tempered
    • Getting Angry
    • Being Withdrawn
    • Depression
    • Disrespect and arrogance
    • Not wanting to talk

    Changes in the way they communicate, including;

    • Being fixated on a particular subject
    • Being closed to new ideas/ conversations
    • Change in use of language/ words
    • Asking inappropriate questions
    • Scripted speech
    • Saying inappropriate things – such as a call to violent action

    Changes in how they appear, including;

    • New tattoos
    • Things they are drawing
    • Increased use if the internet
    • Change of routine
    • New circle of friends (online or offline)
    • General change of appearance and clothing

    If you are concerned about a child who may be being radicalised you can speak to the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

    More information on radicalisation

    Childline

    NSPCC

    Educate against hate

    To report online material that promotes terrorism or extremism

    Report terrorism

     

    Further information and advice