If you are concerned about a child or young person (including yourself)….
If a child is in immediate danger of serious harm or has been left alone dial 999 and let the operator know that it is a possible child protection issue.
If the child is not in immediate danger of serious harm but you know or suspect they are being abused or neglected call Family Connect on:
- Monday to Friday 9am-5pm - 01952 385385
Monday to Sunday (Out of hours) - 01952 676500
If the child or young person is at immediate risk of serious harm dial 999
If you suspect or believe a child is suffering or is likely to suffer Significant Harm, including any form of mistreatment or abuse, you should report your concerns.
If you believe a criminal offence has been committed you can contact West Mercia Police on 0300 333 3000 or 101.
What do I do if a child discloses that they have been abused?
The NSPCC have created an animation which helps adults when responding to a child's disclosure of abuse:
Follow the NSPCC's hints and tips to assist with the conversation with the young person:
- Show you care - help them to open up: Give your full attention to the child or young person and keep your body language open and encouraging. Be compassionate, be understanding and reassure them that their feelings are important. Phrases such as 'you have shown such courage today' can really help.
- Take your time - slow down: Respect pauses and do not interrupt the child - let them go at their own pace. Recognise and respond to their body language. Remember, it may take several conversations for them to share what has happened to them.
- Show you understand - reflect back: Make it clear that you are interested in what the child is telling you. Reflect back what they have said to check your understanding - and use their language to show it is their experience.
The NSPCC have created a poster to help professionals remember these skills, and embed them into their practice. The poster is free to download, so that they can be printed and displayed around your organisation in places where you know adults will see them.
Briefing notes are produced by the TWSCB in order to share any learning and/or information with practitioners, parents and schools across all agencies.
The posters here can be the result of a learning outcome from a Serious Case Review (SCR) and are available for download here, to be displayed in your work area.
Current briefing notes and posters include:
|A Parent's Guide to Internet Controls||
The internet is full of harmful content, which is why web filtering is such an important tool for any family. When running properly, it helps to protect children from the bad things on the internet, regardless of whether they're trying to access that type of content on purpose or it happens by accident.
This guide was written by National Online Safety, to explain to parents and carers how to protect children and young people from harmful content on the internet.
|Are you professionally curious?||Following the MAPPA Discretionary Case Review into the murder of Georgia Williams, this poster highlights the areas that could have been improved upon, and to remind us of what we should be doing.|
|Bruising in children||"Those who don't cruise, rarely bruise" poster, highlighting patterns of bruises which may be suggestive of abuse.|
|County Lines||GOV.UK have released posters to support the Government's work to deal with County Lines. County Lines is where urban drug dealers expand their activity into small town markers.|
|Developing Practice 1: Core Groups||Core Groups are there to improve the daily lived experience of the child, to keep them safe from harm and work with parents/carers to reduce risk. This briefing note explains agency roles in Core Groups, and the expectations for the meeting.|
|Keeping Children Safe in Sport||
Four posters have been created by the National Working Group (NWG), designed to raise awareness of keeping children safe in sport.
Image 1: 'They look professional'
Image 2: 'Someone else will have checked'
Image 3: 'It won't happen to my child'
|Learning Review 1||Following a Multi-agency Round Table Learning Review, this briefing note was developed to share learning from the review and recommendations moving forward.|
|Learning Review 2||Following a TWSCB learning review around an incident that involved several adults and teenagers within the Telford and Wrekin area, this briefing note was produced in order to share the learning and recommendations moving forward.|
Modern Slavery can include human trafficking, slavery, forced labour and domestic servitude. It is an area of criminality where the most vulnerable are preyed upon by others who would exploit them for their own gain. The four posters illustrate the characteristics of the type of exploitation used, offenders, victims and Modern Slavery as a whole.
|Online Gaming 1: Fortnite||Fortnite is a hugely popular survival action game that is centred around short play sessions, and is available in both a game console/PC and mobile version. This briefing note highlights the particular risks that the game poses, and for ways in which parents can monitor activity.|
|Online Gaming 2: 3am Challenge||3am Challenge is a recent social media dare that is run through YouTube. It is an online challenge where participants attempt to perform a specific task at 3 in the morning. This briefing note highlights the particular risks that the game poses, and for ways in which parents can monitor activity.|
|Online Gaming 3: Momo||
Momo is a sinister 'challenge' that has recently resurfaced and, once again, has come the attention of schools and children across the country. Known as the 'suicide killer game', Momo has been heavily linked with apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and - most worryingly - YouTube Kids.
The scary doll-like figure reportedly sends graphic, violent images and asks users to undertake dangerous challenges such as waking up at random hours, and has been associated with self-harm. The original artwork used by the hackers has been taken from a designer in Japan, who has no connection whatsoever with the Momo challenge.
|Safe Places: I am Me and I deserve to be safe||This leaflet contains information for children and parents about the Safe Places programme, including people that children are able to turn to if they feel unsafe and need some help.|
|Safeguarding during adolescence||
During adolescence, the nature of the risks faced by young people, and the way that they experience these risks, often differs from earlier childhood - as do their needs.
This briefing note looks at the relationship between Contextual Safeguarding, Complex Safeguarding and Transitional Safeguarding.
|Review of the role and functions of Local Safeguarding Children Boards||Following the publication of the Wood Review and the Government response, this briefing report provides some context to the review, and sets out Wood's report recommendations and the Government's formal response to these.|
|Telford Housing Options||A new Housing Options scheme for Telford and Wrekin from July 2014.|
|What parents need to know about Telegram||
Telegram is a free messaging service which is very similar to WhatsApp. Users can message each other, as well as send images, videos, audio clips and other files using end to end encryption. People can also create groups and broadcast messages to a worldwide audience. Telegram differentiates itself from WhatsApp due to operating via a cloud-based system, which means users can access the app across any device and can share and receive much bigger files. It also prides itself on being faster and more secure than any other messaging app on the market.
|What parents need to know about Virtual Reality||
VR - or Virtual Reality - is the practice of creating computer generated images or sometimes even entire worlds for a user to experience as if they were there. Whereas traditionally we would use a television screen to view these images and games, technology now allows us to simply put on a headset with much smaller screens inside and become fully immersed in these new worlds. While virtual reality is perfectly safe on the whole (although sometimes you might feel like you are in real, physical danger), there are some things to look out for if you plan on giving it a try.
|What's the bigger picture?||A reminder to us all that in order to protect young people from harm when dealing with incidents where both the children and offender are children, you must look at the bigger picture.|