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Children and young people - keeping safe

If you are not yet 18 years old you are called a child (or a teenager) under the Children Act 1989. This means that you are protected in law from actions or behaviours of anybody, whether acting alone or as part of a group, who may seek to harm you in any way. This may be physical or sexual harm; it may be harm that happens as a result of your physical and emotional needs being neglected or it may be emotional harm from verbal abuse, which includes bullying.

Often adults or other young people who may seek to hurt you are very well known to you; they may be your mum or dad, they may be your brother or sister; or they may be another relative. They may be at school, or have been a friend at some stage.

If someone is hurting you talk to an adult whom you trust – maybe somebody in your family or perhaps your school teacher. You can speak to your doctor or nurse or therapist in CAMHS, your school nurse, health visitor, doctor, police officer or Childline. Children and young people can telephone ChildLine on 0800 1111 to talk about any problem.

What does Childline do?

Childline is the free and confidential helpline for children and young people up to the age of 18 in the UK. Young people can contact Childline about any problem, big or small. It is open 24 hours, 365 days a year! It is part of the NSPCC and you can find much more about it on the NSPCC site www.nspcc.org.uk

The most common problems that Childline have been contacted about are:

  • Family relationship issues
  • Bullying Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse Facts of life

Abuse can also happen online too – on Facebook or other social networking sites. A special branch of the police called CEOP (Child Exploitation and On-line Protection) work to protect children and young people from sexual exploitation – in the online and offline world. You can check out how you can keep safe at www.thinkuknow.co.uk.

On this site you can get in touch with someone who can help if you are worried, or you have a gut feeling that something is not right with a conversation or a ‘meeting’ on-line.

Please don’t worry about things alone! Talk to someone you can trust to help.

Keeping safe: children and young people - useful links

Childline
A free and confidential support service for children.
Tel: 0800 1111
www.childline.org.uk

Young Minds
Information for young people about emotional and mental health issues.
www.youngminds.org.uk

Changes Young People 11-18s
Changes YP is a free peer support group for young people experiencing any degree of mental distress from low self esteem, low confidence, stress, anxiety , depression – to those with more complex and enduring mental health needs.
Tel: 01782 41 33 55
Mob: 07732 349941/ 07749 343306
Email: yp@changes.org.uk
www.changes.org.uk

My CAMHS Choices
Have you just been referred to CAMHS and want to find out more? My CAMHS Choices is a website which provides information and videos with clinicians and young people, about different types of help and diagnosis.
mycamhschoices.org

Head Meds
HeadMeds provides web based access to inform about mental health medications for young people. It is written in straight forward language.
www.headmeds.org.uk

Ask Frank
Open and honest information about drugs and where to get support.
www.talktofrank.com

Samaritans
A 24-hour service offering confidential emotional support to anyone who is in crisis.
Tel: 08457 90 90 90
www.samaritans.org

Contact a Family
Information for families with disabled children.
www.cafamily.org.uk

Living with ADHD
Website providing information for families and young people living with ADHD.
www.livingwithadhd.co.uk

Getting help for a friend

If you are worried about someone, it can help to talk about it.

  • Try and talk to your friend and ask them to tell you what is wrong.
  • It might be very difficult for them to speak about what is wrong, especially if they are scared or worried about what will happen if they do talk.
  • If they don’t want to talk to you, suggest that they talk to a teacher or someone else they trust about what is happening.
  • If you think your friend might be in danger or are really worried about them, you could tell an appropriate adult, such as a parent, school nurse or teacher.

Will telling someone make me a grass?

No, telling an adult if your friend is having problems won’t make you a grass. It’s hard to support your friends alone if their problems are serious. It’s natural that your friend might not want to tell anyone, and it might be because they are scared, but it is OK to talk to someone if you are worried, even if your friend says that they don’t want you to.

For more advice

Epic Friends is a website with information about how to help a friend who might be struggling. It also gives you guidance on when you should tell someone else. For more information click here.