Safeguarding children - information for children and young people

Safeguarding children - information for children and young people

If you are being mistreated or abused, need to talk to someone, or you think another child is being mistreated or abused please view the information on this page for advice.

What if you’re worried about reporting an issue of child safety?

We understand it is scary to think about reporting an issue about yourself or another child, but it is always best to get advice than do nothing. Talking through your concerns can help clarify whether there is something to be worried about and can stop you or another child being harmed or mistreated further.

All concerns are treated seriously and in confidence. Your name will not be given to anyone without permission. 

Who to contact
Worried about a child - report your concerns
 
Emergency: If a child is in immediate danger or left alone, you should contact the police or call an ambulance on 999.
 
You can report abuse and neglect by completing the form at the links below, or you can contact us on 01670 536400 during office hours, or 0345 6005252 out of hours
 
 
 
 
 
Non-emergency: 

If this is a new contact then please ring:-

First Contact : 01670 536400 or send a written referral to: childrenstriage@northumberland.gov.uk
 
If you know a child already has a social worker then contact the social workers telephone number or ring First Contact.
 
For the 14+ Team please ring 01670 622930
 
Opening Times:
Monday to Thursday 8.30am – 5pm and Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm
 
Out of Hours 
All calls outside these hours please ring 0345 6005252

Early Help Assessments

To make a referral to the Early Help Hubs please send your referral to :- earlyinterventionhub@northumberland.gov.uk   

For enquiries about completion or registrations of Early Help Assessments please contact: 01670 536400

If you are a professional who works with children, you should first discuss your concern with your manager or designated professional. If there are still concerns you should contact the numbers above.
Coercive and controlling relationships

Northumberland Domestic Abuse Services (NDAS) a Northumberland based independent charity, have been working with Raw Productions, a London based media organisation, to produce a powerful and emotive brand new film that focuses on young people’s struggles with coercive and controlling relationships. These behaviours are not currently as widely understood or discussed in the public sphere as physically violent relationships.
 
The video is now on the NDAS website ready for viewing at: http://www.nda.services/control 
 
It is also available on Youtube for quick linking to your own website

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=52&v=qQoTf-5ug68

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qQoTf-5ug68" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  
The film highlights the dangers of emotional abuse in teenage relationships. Too many young people are coerced into controlling relationships by their partners, who use their power to emotionally control every aspect of their lives. Stories like 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight confuse uncontrollable passion and love with emotional coerciveness and control, embedding an unhealthy picture of relationships into our culture.
 
For this to change, NDAS want young people to recognise it.
 
Emotional abuse is name-calling, isolating from friends and family, emotional mind games and threatening behaviour or language.
 
Maggie Martin, Children’s Service Coordinator for NDAS, explains; “Young people are especially vulnerable, we hope this film will raise awareness of the issue and get young people thinking about their own situation, or that of those around them.”.
 
The film was produced by RAW Productions as part of their charity initiative. Ryan Wilkins, CEO, said, “We chose to make this film to change the way people see and understand domestic abuse. Many people believe domestic abuse is physical abuse, and that’s just not the case.”.
 
The will be film is being launched on Valentine’s Day and its is free to share across Northumberland and further afield as long as you could highlight NDAS work in developing the video
  
Back ground information
 
In 2015 a Northumberland planning group was formed in response to the North East Violence against Women and Girls Strategy to develop lessons based on raising awareness of Domestic Abuse, Child Sexual Exploitation, Rape and Consent. The planning group consisted of Northumberland County Council Health & Well-Being Team, Northumbria Police, Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS), Northumbria Health Trust and focused on strengthening learning for year 11 students. Dame Vera Baird spoke at the initial teacher training event funded by the Northumberland County Council Health & Wellbeing Team supported by Northumbria Police, NDAS, Northumberland Adolescent Services Health Participation Group, Open Clasp Theatre Company, BAIT Arts Programme and R.E.A.C.H. Our partnership won the Northumbria Health Partnership Award 2016 for this work.

A sexual exploitation drama project for year 9 students has developed from this work, this has become possible through funding from The Arts Council, Grants for the Arts Award Scheme. NDAS, Open Clasp, West End Women and Girls (DV Peer Supporters) and the Northumberland Planning team will work together with young people to develop the drama performed at the event, create peer educator workshops and training which will follow each performance. The performances are to be delivered in every high school and a range of community venues in Northumberland.  A total of 37 performances and workshops will take place to ensure an equal chance for wider community to access the drama and workshops.    The project will be evaluated throughout the whole process from the planning and development stages to delivery to audiences.  The film will be used to highlight this project.
 
More about the film
 
In order to have a broad reach, the film focused on the general issue rather than the specifics of the work that NDAS carries out. To suit social platforms, the film is short and no more than 90 seconds long with an attention grabbing opening, a complex emotional journey and a hard-hitting ending. .
 
Our main objectives for the drama and film are to:
 
•         Open up the conversation about psychologically damaging relationships
•         Speak to young audiences by focussing on your young person’s service, in schools or youth/community settings
•         Highlight the difficulties of living in a remote area
•         Prevent young people engaging in unhealthy relationships/sexual exploitation.
 
This can be used to provide basic awareness or to initiate discussion with young people about domestic abuse and abusive relationships.
 
Support Websites

Websites

Talk to Frank - information, advice and support about drugs

Samaritans - talk to Samaritans any time, about anything that's worrying you

Young Minds - mental health support for young people

Brook.org.uk - sexual health advice and information for young people

Worth talking about - helpline providing information, advice and guidance for young people aged 12-18 on sexuality and sexual health. Issues dealt with include contraception, pregnancy, family planning clinics, sexually transmitted diseases, peer pressure and relationships.

Centrepoint - support for young people affected by homelessness

The Hide Out - support if you're affected by domestic abuse

NHS Choices - health advice for young people

Carers trust - advice for young carers

Childnet - staying safe online

Pace - online information and support for parents and professionals of young people being sexually exploited

Students against depression - site contains excellent information and help for anyone feeling depressed

National Youth Advocacy Service - provides information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to young people up to 25

The Mix - essentialsupport for under 25s on all issues important to young people, including relationships, your body, money, crime, study and lifestyle.

How you can keep yourself and your friends safe

Follow the advice below to keep safe:

  • Do not talk to strangers.     
  • Walk to and from school in groups.
  • Never accept a ride from strangers.         
  • Do not take gifts from people you do not know.
  • Tell someone you trust if someone is making you feel uncomfortable.        
  • Report all suspicious behavior and “new adult friends” to Parents/ Carers.
  • Never leave home without telling your parents/carers where you are going.          
  • Shout loudly if someone is asking you to do something you are not happy about.
  • Never take shortcuts.
  • Always stick to routes selected by parents, and stay on main roads.
  • If you go out with your friends make sure you stay together even if you fall out.

How to get advice to help if you are unhappy

If you know an adult that you trust, tell them you are unhappy and what’s worrying you. They will offer advice and help you.

If you want to talk to someone that doesn’t know you personally, use the contacts below:

Worried about a child - report your concerns

Emergency: If a child is in immediate danger or left alone, you should contact the police or call an ambulance on 999.
 
You can report abuse and neglect by completing the form at the links below, or you can contact us on 01670 536400 during office hours, or 0345 6005252 out of hours
 
 
 
 
 
Non-emergency: 

If this is a new contact then please ring:-

First Contact : 01670 536400 or send a written referral to: childrenstriage@northumberland.gov.uk
 
If you know a child already has a social worker then contact the social workers telephone number or ring First Contact.
 
For the 14+ Team please ring 01670 622930
 
Opening Times:
Monday to Thursday 8.30am – 5pm and Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm
 
Out of Hours 
All calls outside these hours please ring 0345 6005252

Early Help Assessments

To make a referral to the Early Help Hubs please send your referral to :- earlyinterventionhub@northumberland.gov.uk   

For enquiries about completion or registrations of Early Help Assessments please contact: 01670 536400

If you are a professional who works with children, you should first discuss your concern with your manager or designated professional. If there are still concerns you should contact the numbers above.

You can also get advice and support from these independent organisations

Child sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation can be hard to recognise because you may believe you’re in a good relationship with the person – or people – who want to abuse your trust in them.

It could be:

  • a friend, or group of friends.
  • someone you think of as a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • a person or a new group of people you’ve only just got to know
  • someone you’ve talked to online. 

Stay safe
Whoever it is, a person could use clever ways to take advantage of your relationship – and that means you can be harmed almost before you know what’s going on. For example, someone might give you money, drugs, alcohol, gifts or somewhere to stay and then force you to do things in return
Barnardo's Guidance - Be Aware, Stay Alert and Keep Safe
Three top tips to keep safe:
  • Trust yourself to know when something is wrong. If someone
    makes you feel unsafe, pressured or frightened, follow your instincts and
    seek help.
  • Don’t trust people you don’t know, even if they seem friendly – and make sure you know who you are talking to online. Never give away personal details or agree to meet someone who you have only talked to online.
  • Don’t be tricked into doing things that are unsafe, even if they seem like fun. What might look exciting at first could be more dangerous than you realise.
If you are worried about a situation that you or a friend is in, talk to an adult that you trust as soon as you can. People who can help you include teachers, parents, carers
and social workers.
If you, or a friend, are in immediate danger or want urgent help, call 999 or contact your local police.
The animations below have been made by the NSPCC and aim to clarify the complex issues of sexual exploitation and can help young people experience similar problems:
What is sexual exploitation?
Sexual exploitation can involve swapping sexual favours for drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and other presents. Or it may be having sex for money with several adults. Young people may feel they must have sex because an adult gives them something, or because they feel threatened or frightened.
Some young people may want to have sex because they think the adult is their boyfriend or girlfriend. In reality they are being used for sex, and the ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ may pass them on to other people too. (Remember – sexual abusers can be women, as well as men.)
Sexual exploitation can also occur without any physical contact with children being groomed to post sexual images of themselves online or take part in sexual activities via webcam or smartphone.
Abusers and groomers are very manipulative and often a young person will not recognise that they are being sexually exploited
Sexual exploitation can happen to boys and young men as well as girls and young women. It can happen to a person of any background, race, ability, sexuality, and age.
How does it happen?
We know from experience that some grown-ups target young people and draw them into abusive sexual relationships. This is how it works:
  • older adults show the young person a lot of interest and affection at the beginning, and make them feel special
  • sometimes they ask groups of young people to come back to their house or parties with other adults, which makes the child feel grown up
  • they are offered drugs and alcohol, and a place to chill out
  • The young people may get presents like clothes, a mobile phone, or money to buy alcohol and cigarettes
  • after the grown-up has gained the young person’s trust and affection, things change
  • they will ask for sexual favours for themselves or other people, in return for alcohol, drugs, presents, money – all the things they started giving for free
  • they stop being nice and can become threatening or violent
Possible signs and symptoms of being sexual exploited
Sexual exploitation can be very difficult to identify. Warning signs can easily be mistaken for ‘normal’ teenage behaviour.
Young people who are being sexually exploited may be:
  • going missing for periods of time or regularly coming home late
  • regularly missing school or not taking part in education
  • appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions (often new mobile phones or SIM cards)
  • having older boyfriends or girlfriends
  • socialising with groups of older people, anti-social groups and other vulnerable young people
  • suffering from sexually transmitted infections
  • mood swings or changes in emotional wellbeing
  • drug and alcohol misuse
  • displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour
  • self-harming or eating disorders
  • onjuries from physical assault, physical restraint or sexual assault
Keep them safe – an interactive tool for parents
Understand the issue of child sexual exploitation know the signs and be equipped to act.
Parents against Child Sexual Exploitation (Pace) UK, in partnership with Virtual College, has launched an interactive online information package for parents on the signs of child sexual exploitation. This free tool is designed to equip parents with the information and knowledge to safeguard children from this abuse. Click here for more details
Parents against Child Sexual Exploitation (Pace) UK have produced books for parents of children who are being sexually exploited. Other guides produced by Parents against Child Sexual Exploitation (Pace) UK can be found at the following link http://www.paceuk.info/support-for-parents/advice-centre/ 
What can you do?
If you are worried that an adult is trying to abuse you, or worried about a friend or child, tell someone you can trust.

If you can, talk to your parents, your carer or a close member of your family. Sometimes it is difficult to talk about personal problems like sex. Perhaps you think your parents or carer will be angry or upset, or you will get into trouble with the police.

Even so, it is better to ask for help if you are unhappy about the way you are being treated by an older person.
Is there someone else you could talk to – such as a teacher or someone from your religion or local community? Tell the trusted person about your concerns.

Child sexual exploitation is a crime – the police and social services will act to stop it happening.
 
Emergency: If a child is in immediate danger or left alone, you should contact the police or call an ambulance on 999.
 
You can report abuse and neglect by completing the form at the links below, or you can contact us on 01670 536400 during office hours, or 0345 6005252 out of hours
 
 
 
 
 
Non-emergency: 

If this is a new contact then please ring:-

First Contact : 01670 536400 or send a written referral to: childrenstriage@northumberland.gov.uk
 
If you know a child already has a social worker then contact the social workers telephone number or ring First Contact.
 
For the 14+ Team please ring 01670 622930
 
Opening Times:
Monday to Thursday 8.30am – 5pm and Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm
 
Out of Hours 
All calls outside these hours please ring 0345 6005252

Early Help Assessments

To make a referral to the Early Help Hubs please send your referral to :- earlyinterventionhub@northumberland.gov.uk   
For enquiries about completion or registrations of Early Help Assessments please contact: 01670 536400

If you are a professional who works with children, you should first discuss your concern with your manager or designated professional. If there are still concerns you should contact the numbers above.
 
You can also get advice and support from these independent organisations
#ItCouldHappenToMe campaign

Northumberland Youth Service have generated a campaign aimed at young people to help raise awareness, improve knowledge and give greater understanding of Child Sexual Exploitation.

 

Developed as a partnership throughout Northumberland County Council, the #ItCouldHappenToMe campaign has been developed to include; posters, wallet cards, wristbands, leaflets and online resources, all providing information about recognising child exploitation and what to do if you think it is happening to you or someone you know.

The campaign has been developed by a group of young people, aimed at young people, to help them understand that child exploitation can happen to anyone with tools to help recognise the difference between a healthy or unhealthy relationship along with providing information about what to do if you need further advice or help.


 

 

E-safety

Find out the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology. Also, find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it.

There’s also a place where anyone can use to report someone, who makes them feel uncomfortable or worried about talking to online. All the information here is brought to you by the team at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.

How to stay safe online
Flowchart for Be smart, Stay safe Online


Using the internet can be fun and enjoyable but it is important to stay whilst online as things may go wrong. Some things that could go wrong my include posting pictures you wish you never did, sharing details about yourself you wish you hadn’t or someone may be bullying you online. If you feel frightened, threatened, worried or unsafe about anything that has happened whilst using the internet e.g. on Facebook, twitter or in chat rooms, you should report it as you have a right to be safe on the internet.

 
Useful resources
See useful information at: Visit the ThinkUKnow website to find the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology.
Find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it.
Most importantly, there’s also a place which anyone can use to REPORT if they feel uncomfortable or worried about someone they are chatting to online.
For more information, click on one of the below:

Link for children aged 5-7

Link for children aged 8- 10

Link for children aged 11 - 16

  Childnet works to help make the internet a great and safe place for children and young people. They will help you find the latest information on the sites and services that you like to use, plus information about mobiles, gaming, downloading, social networking and much more. Kidsmart is a practical internet safety programme website for schools, young people, parents, and agencies, produced by the children's internet charity Childnet International.


 

Female genital mutilation (FGM)

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is defined as “all procedures (not operations) which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons” (World Health Organisation, 1996)

What is FGM?
FGM is abuse of the human rights of girls and women and is therefore a child protection issue. It is illegal in the UK to subject a child to female genital mutilation (FGM) or to take a child abroad to undergo FGM.
  • 20,000 girls under the age of 15 at risk of FGM every year
  • The maximum sentence of years in prison for carrying out FGM or helping it to take place is 14 years
If you suspect that any girl in Northumberland is at immediate risk of being subjected to any form of FGM you must take action to report it immediately by contacting the police on 999.
 FGM constitutes child abuse and causes physical, psychological and sexual harm.
Indicators that a girl may be at risk of FGM
  • She has a parent from a practising community
  • She and her family have a low integration into a community
  • The mother or any sisters have experienced FGM
  • She is withdrawn from PSH.
  • She has talked about, or you know about the arrival of a female family elder
  • She talks about it to other children
  • She refers to a ‘special procedure’ or ‘special occasion’ or ‘becoming a woman’
  • She is out of the country for a prolonged period
  • She is taking a long holiday to her country of origin or another country where the practice is prevalent. (Parents may talk about it too)
Indicators that a girl has experienced FGM
  • A girl has problems walking/standing/sitting.
  • She spends a lot of time in the bathroom/toilet.
  • She has bladder or menstrual problems.
  • She has prolonged or repeated absences from school.
  • She has a reluctance to undergo medical examinations.
To read detailed procedures, go to NSCB Female Genital Mutilation
 
Training and resources
More information on training on FGM is available from the Home Office free online training which can be accessed at https://www.fgmelearning.co.uk/ 
 
National FGM resources

Understanding child protection conferences

Here you will find information on meetings between children and workers worried about your safety.

What is a child protection conference?
It’s what a meeting is called when workers (people such as teachers, doctors and social workers) are worried about your safety or the way you are being looked after. It will decide whether any action needs to be taken to keep you safe.
What is a conference for?
  • It is to talk about what may have happened, and why people are worried about you
  • To share information about the good things that happen in your family and talk about any problems you and your family may be having.
  • To decide if you need protecting and if you do, to decide the best way to keep you safe. 
Who will be at the conference?
  • Your parents/carers
  • Your Social Worker – who will want to work with you and your family to make things better
  • Other people who know you and your family, for example, teachers, or a health visitor if you have a younger brother or sister.
  • People that you may not know like police officers or solicitors
  • A person who leads or chairs the meeting called an Independent Reviewing Officer
  • A person who makes notes about what is said (minute taker)
Your social worker will explain who has been invited and why and will ask you if you think anyone else should be invited.
Can I attend?
If you want to come, talk to your Social Worker. If the people involved believe it is best for you, then you can come for some or all of the meeting.
If you can’t or don’t want to come your social worker will talk to you about how you can make your views known to the meeting. You could send your views in writing or ask someone to speak on your behalf.
Your social worker will let you know what was said at the meeting if you do not attend. The chair will send you a letter after the meeting.
What happens at the meeting?
You and your family will meet the person chairing the Conference before the meeting starts.

In the meeting you and your family will meet everyone and they will say who they are and how they know you or your family.

The person chairing the meeting will tell you why the Conference is taking place.

The people present will share information about the good things and the difficult things in your family.

Information may be read from reports sent from anyone who was not able to attend the meeting.

You will be asked about your wishes or feelings or you can tell them to the person chairing the meeting when you meet them before the conference.
What can conference decide?
It can decide whether you need a Protection Plan to make things safer for you, and if so what should be included in your Protection Plan.

A Protection Plan says what needs to change, what support is going to be given to help make these changes and who is responsible for these actions.

The Conference will confirm the name of the Social Worker and the names of the people from other agencies who will support you and your family to achieve the recommendations made in the Protection Plan (this is called the Core Group).

Dates will be set for future meetings and a Review Child Protection Conference.
How long will my child protection plan last?
Until the workers agree that worries about you have gone and that you do not require a Protection Plan.
Can a conference take me away from my parents?
The conference can only make recommendations about how to make your situation safer for you.
What happens after a conference?
If the conference decides you are safe nothing else will happen, unless your family wants some support which the social worker will arrange with your family.

The Core Group will meet regularly with your social worker and parents or carers, and with you if you want to be involved in these meetings. They will talk about the protection plan and if there are any problems or worries.

You will receive a letter confirming the decisions that were made at the conference, the recommendations in the protection plan and the date of the next meeting.  Later you will receive a full written record of the meeting.
What if you don’t agree with the conference decisions or want to make a complaint?
If you think anything to do with conference is wrong or has been unfair to you, you should talk to your social worker or the Independent Reviewing Officer who chaired the meeting and who will talk to you after the meeting is finished.

If you are still unhappy you have the right to complain. There is a complaints procedure which you can access here. Your social worker will be able to provide you with further information if required. 
Legal advice
Legal advice for children and young people is available free from the Children's Legal Centre. The free phone number is 08088 020 008.

Why are people concerned about my safety?

This is a natural question to ask. This page provides information on what will happen over the next few weeks if you or someone you know reports concerns over your safety.

Try and keep in mind:

  • The law states that Social Care must look into information given to them about the safety of a child or if there are concerns that they are being abused or not being looked after properly
  • Your safety is the most important matter even if it may be upsetting for your parents or carers. You have a right to be safe, protected from harm and looked after properly.
  • Professionals such as teachers, doctors and health workers have a responsibility to contact Social Care if they have concerns about the safety of a child.

What is abuse?
Being mistreated or abused (sometimes called ‘Significant Harm') is defined as Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse, Neglect or Emotional Abuse.

Cartoon fist
Physical Abuse
When an adult deliberately hurts a child, such as hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning or suffocating.


An eye crying
Emotional Abuse
This would happen, for instance, when a child is all the time being unfairly blamed for everything, or told they are stupid and made to feel unhappy.



Cartoon child alone in a house
Neglect
Where a child is not being looked after properly, for example, not getting enough to eat or being left alone in dangerous situations.



Exclamation point 
Sexual Abuse
An examples of sexual abuse would be where a child has been forced to take part in sexual activities or in the taking of rude photos.
 

Speech bubble showing punctuation
Bullying
E.g. calling names, damaging property, stealing, spreading rumours, cyberbullying, hurting, getting people into trouble (See bullying)
 

A cartoon house with a crack
Domestic Violence
When one adult in a family or relationship threatens, bullies or hurts another adult e.g. physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually or financially.

Bullying

Bullying won't stop unless you tell some who can help.

“They stir things up so people don't want to be my friend. I'm depressed, annoyed, stressed and keep breaking down in tears. I feel like I'm about to fall apart" - boy aged 13

Bullies are very cunning and are expert at getting away with it. We all know that bullying goes on in and out of school, and parents, carers, teachers and other professionals have a duty to take action is they suspect or discover that child(ren) are being bullied.

What is bullying?
Bullying includes:
  • People calling you names
  • Making things up to get you into trouble
  • Hitting, pinching, biting, pushing and shoving
  • Taking things away from you
  • Damaging your belongings
  • Stealing your money
  • Taking your friends away from you
  • Cyberbullying
  • Spreading rumours
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Making silent or abusive phone calls
  • Bullies can also frighten you so that you don't want to go to school, so that you pretend to be ill to avoid them 
Are you being bullied?
If you or someone you know is being bullied, talk to someone:
Are you a bully?
Bullying someone is out of order:
  • Maybe your mates think it’s ok, they might encourage you or laugh about it, but it’s not ok.
  • You are hurting someone else because you want to, and they don’t deserve it.
  • You could be responsible for someone killing themselves – nearly 20 people a year kill themselves because they can’t stand being bullied.
  • You should stop!
  • If you can’t stop, get some advice.
  • Talk to a trusted adult about it
  • Look at Bullying UK for advice.

Information & advice for young people

If you are being hurt, treated in a way that makes you feel scared or unsafe, or you feel very alone or unhappy, please tell someone about it so they can try to help you. Talk to someone you can trust, like a teacher or a nurse at your school. They will listen to you and support you, and talk through what can be done to help sort things out.

Remember that you can ring ChildLine anytime on 0800 1111 or you can talk to a trained social worker by ringing 01670 536800 during the day, or 0845 600 5252/01670 822386 at night. 

Help online
Here there is brilliant web information and a telephone helpline with advice for young people about tackling bullying and other issues Good, clear advice and stories from young people about how they tackled bullying. Includes info on cyber-bullying. Information and support about preventing bullying and child abuse, including a helpline, confidence-building courses, booklets and literature, child safety training and FAQs.

Legal highs – just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s safe.

Young people in Northumberland have helped to produce an information leaflet which busts some of the myths around so-called legal highs.

Are you worried about your drug and alcohol use?
Take our quick quiz below to decide whether you need to seek advice. Answer honestly!
  • Do you think about drugs and alcohol every day?
  • Is it hard to say ‘no’ if it is offered to you?
  • Do you take drugs, or drink alcohol, when you are on your own?
  • Does taking drugs, or drinking alcohol, get in the way of everything else that you do?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you may want to contact us.
Call 01670 500150, or download a referral form here. 

For further information go to:
Sorted Northumberland

Water safety for children and young people

During the school holidays, and in particular in hot weather, increasing numbers of children put themselves at risk of drowning. On average 40 to 50 children drown per year in the UK.

Keep safe
To keep yourself safe, when you are in, on or beside water, always follow the Water Safety Code. The dangers of water include:
  • it is very cold
  • there may be hidden currents
  • it can be difficult to get out (steep slimy banks)
  • it can be deep
  • there may be hidden rubbish, e.g. shopping trolleys, broken glass
  • there are no lifeguards
  • it is difficult to estimate depth
  • it may be polluted and may make you ill
Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Learn to spot and keep away from dangers. You may swim well in a warm indoor pool, but that does not mean that you will be able to swim in cold water.
Take safety advice
Special flags and notices may warn you of danger. Know what the signs mean and do what they tell you.
Learn about water safety signs and the flags you should look out for on the beach.
Go together
Children should always go with an adult, not by themselves.
An adult can point out dangers or help is somebody gets into trouble.
Learn how to help
You may be able to help yourself and others if you know what to do in an emergency.

If you see someone in difficulty, tell somebody, preferably a Lifeguard if there is one nearby, or go to the nearest telephone, dial 999, ask for the Police at inland water sites and the Coastguard at the beach.

Find out about rescue methods.
Find out more
Now you know the Water Safety Code, try the RoSPA's Water Wise Quiz or look through RoSPA's water safety information sheets.
Further information & resources:

Private fostering

Are you a privately fostered young person? Sometimes your mum or dad (or other very close relative) asks someone to look after you for a while. If you stay in this person’s home for more than 28 days (roughly one month) then this is known as private fostering. Perhaps one of your friends are living with someone else. If you think you are in a private fostering situation, then have a chat with your parent and carer, and let them know that you should get in touch with the council.

Use the resources below for information about:

  • if you are being privately fostered
  • what you can do if you think your friend is being privately fostered
  • other facts about private fostering
 For more information about private fostering visit:

Emotional Well-Being

Emotional well-being is a term that has seen increasing use in recent decades. The implications of decreased emotional well-being are related to mental health concerns such as stress, depression, and anxiety. These in turn can contribute to physical ill-health such as digestive disorders, sleep disturbances, and general lack of energy. On the positive side, enhanced emotional well-being is seen to contribute to upward spirals in increasing coping ability.


 

Speak Up Silent Voices
In July 2016  Amy, Daniel, Emily, Euan, Jade,James, Jessica, Naomi, Rachel, Sophia, Sophie, Thomas
supported by Northumberland Youth Service developed the 'Speak Up Silent Voices' campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues for children and young people.



To watch their video please use this link

To download their leaflet please use this link

to Download their wallet card please use this link
Support services
Talk to friends, family, teachers, youth workers or other adults who you can trust.

Speak to your doctor.

Young Minds 0808 802 5544
www.youngminds.org.uk (Parent Helpline)

NHS choices
www.nhs.uk

Mind 0300 123 3393
www.mind.org.uk

ChildLine 0800 1111
www.childline.org.uk

Winston’s Wish 08452 030405
www.winstonswish.org.uk

Samaritans 116 123
www.samaritans.org

Sane line 0300 304 7000
www.sane.org.uk

Rethink Mental Illness 0300 5000 927
www.rethink.org

The Mix 0808 808 4994
www.themix.org.uk

In an emergency call 999 or present at A & E.

Coercive and controlling relationships

Northumberland Domestic Abuse Services (NDAS) a Northumberland based independent charity, have been working with Raw Productions, a London based media organisation, to produce a powerful and emotive brand new film that focuses on young people’s struggles with coercive and controlling relationships. These behaviours are not currently as widely understood or discussed in the public sphere as physically violent relationships.

Video launch
Northumberland Domestic Abuse Services (NDAS) a Northumberland based independent charity, have been working with Raw Productions, a London based media organisation, to produce a powerful and emotive brand new film that focuses on young people’s struggles with coercive and controlling relationships. These behaviours are not currently as widely understood or discussed in the public sphere as physically violent relationships.
 
The video is now on the NDAS website ready for viewing at: http://www.nda.services/control 
 
The film highlights the dangers of emotional abuse in teenage relationships. Too many young people are coerced into controlling relationships by their partners, who use their power to emotionally control every aspect of their lives. Stories like 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight confuse uncontrollable passion and love with emotional coerciveness and control, embedding an unhealthy picture of relationships into our culture.
 
For this to change, NDAS want young people to recognise it.
 
Emotional abuse is name-calling, isolating from friends and family, emotional mind games and threatening behaviour or language.
 
Maggie Martin, Children’s Service Coordinator for NDAS, explains; “Young people are especially vulnerable, we hope this film will raise awareness of the issue and get young people thinking about their own situation, or that of those around them.”.
 
The film was produced by RAW Productions as part of their charity initiative. Ryan Wilkins, CEO, said, “We chose to make this film to change the way people see and understand domestic abuse. Many people believe domestic abuse is physical abuse, and that’s just not the case.”.
 
The will be film is being launched on Valentine’s Day and its is free to share across Northumberland and further afield as long as you could highlight NDAS work in developing the video
  
Back ground information
 
In 2015 a Northumberland planning group was formed in response to the North East Violence against Women and Girls Strategy to develop lessons based on raising awareness of Domestic Abuse, Child Sexual Exploitation, Rape and Consent. The planning group consisted of Northumberland County Council Health & Well-Being Team, Northumbria Police, Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS), Northumbria Health Trust and focused on strengthening learning for year 11 students. Dame Vera Baird spoke at the initial teacher training event funded by the Northumberland County Council Health & Wellbeing Team supported by Northumbria Police, NDAS, Northumberland Adolescent Services Health Participation Group, Open Clasp Theatre Company, BAIT Arts Programme and R.E.A.C.H. Our partnership won the Northumbria Health Partnership Award 2016 for this work.

A sexual exploitation drama project for year 9 students has developed from this work, this has become possible through funding from The Arts Council, Grants for the Arts Award Scheme. NDAS, Open Clasp, West End Women and Girls (DV Peer Supporters) and the Northumberland Planning team will work together with young people to develop the drama performed at the event, create peer educator workshops and training which will follow each performance. The performances are to be delivered in every high school and a range of community venues in Northumberland.  A total of 37 performances and workshops will take place to ensure an equal chance for wider community to access the drama and workshops.    The project will be evaluated throughout the whole process from the planning and development stages to delivery to audiences.  The film will be used to highlight this project.
 
More about the film
 
In order to have a broad reach, the film focused on the general issue rather than the specifics of the work that NDAS carries out. To suit social platforms, the film is short and no more than 90 seconds long with an attention grabbing opening, a complex emotional journey and a hard-hitting ending. .
 
Our main objectives for the drama and film are to:
 
•         Open up the conversation about psychologically damaging relationships
•         Speak to young audiences by focussing on your young person’s service, in schools or youth/community settings
•         Highlight the difficulties of living in a remote area
•         Prevent young people engaging in unhealthy relationships/sexual exploitation.

Support websites

Links to website that provide information for young people

Websites

Talk to Frank - information, advice and support about drugs

Samaritans - talk to Samaritans any time, about anything that's worrying you

Young Minds - mental health support for young people

Brook.org.uk - sexual health advice and information for young people

Worth talking about - helpline providing information, advice and guidance for young people aged 12-18 on sexuality and sexual health. Issues dealt with include contraception, pregnancy, family planning clinics, sexually transmitted diseases, peer pressure and relationships.

Centrepoint - support for young people affected by homelessness

The Hide Out - support if you're affected by domestic abuse

NHS Choices - health advice for young people

Carers trust - advice for young carers

Childnet - staying safe online

Pace - online information and support for parents and professionals of young people being sexually exploited

Students against depression - site contains excellent information and help for anyone feeling depressed

National Youth Advocacy Service - provides information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to young people up to 25

The Mix - essentialsupport for under 25s on all issues important to young people, including relationships, your body, money, crime, study and lifestyle.