Children and young people
If you are a child or young person
This part of the website is for you.
We can help if:
- You are being mistreated or abused by someone and you're not sure what to do;
- You think another child/young person is being mistreated or abused and want to report your concerns;
- You need advice or need to talk to someone, and want to confidentially talk to us.
The website will also give you help and advice on things such as:
- How to stay safe online;
- What to do if you're being bullied or cyberbullied;
- What is a healthy relationship.
...and much, much more.
The Office of the Children's Commissioner has recently published a Young Persons Guide to Working Together to Safeguard Children.
What is abuse
Being mistreated or abused (sometimes called significant harm) is defined as:
- sexual abuse
- physical abuse
- emotional abuse
How you can keep yourself and your friends safe:
- Don't talk to strangers
- Walk to and from school in groups
- Don't take gifts from people you don't know
- Never accept a ride from strangers
- Tell someone you trust if someone is making you feel uncomfortable
- Report all suspicious behaviour and new adult friends, including those you meet online, to parents/carers
- Never leave home without telling your parents/carers where you're going
- Shout loudly if someone is asking you to do something you're not happy about
- If you go out with your friends make sure you stay together even if you fall out
- Never take shortcuts. Always stick to routes selected by parents, and stay on main roads
For more information on how to stay safe online visit the THINKUKNOW website or select one of these links for different ages:
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 if they suspect or discover that child(ren) are being bullied.
The internet can be fun and a great way to chat, share files and listen to music, but remember to be smart and stay safe.
- Keep personal information like your mobile number and address to yourself
- Not all people you meet online are real or honest
- If you publish a picture or video ANYONE can change or share it
- Remember you can block people you don’t know in chat and Instant Messenger
- If you find anything that makes you uncomfortable online, tell an adult you trust, like a parent or teacher
Self-harm & Suicide Prevention
Self-harm is where someone does something deliberately to hurt themselves. Self-harm is a coping mechanism and a way of trying to deal with painful and confusing feelings.
Young Minds, a charity supporting young people’s mental health, states that nearly 25% of young people have felt suicidal at least once in their lives. It is very common and there are lots of ways of dealing with it.
Missing / running away
Sometimes it can feel like everything is too much at home, and you have no other choice but to leave. You always have a choice.
A healthy relationship is one in which you feel loved, safe, respected and free to be yourself. Not all relationships are healthy. Some relationships are abusive. It's important to remember that:
- Abuse in a relationship can happen to anyone
- It's NEVER ok
- It can destroy your self-confidence, have a negative impact on your health and wellbeing and leave you feeling isolated and lonely
To spot the signs of an abusive relationship and to find out if your partner treats you with the respect you deserve, take a look at the ’Disrespect Nobody’ website.
Using violence and intimidation to control your partner is NEVER ok. If you're worried that you may be abusive towards your partner, follow our advice on how to stop yourself.
Advocacy is about speaking up for children and young people and ensuring their views and wishes are heard and acted on by decision makers. It should be independent, confidential and provide as a minimum information, advice, representation and support to young people.
In Shropshire the advocacy service is provided by Coram Voice (an independent national charity).
Child protection enquiries
What's an enquiry?
It's what we do when we need to make sure that children are OK. Sometimes adults or other young people hurt children or make them feel bad or afraid. This shouldn't happen - if it happens to you, we're here to help you and to find out what's going on.
Who are "we"?
We're social workers. Our job is to listen to what you want to tell us. Sometimes a policeman will come with us. Please ask us questions at any time and tell us what you think should happen.
What happens next?
We will also need to talk to other people, such as your family. We need to find out what happened and why. The most important thing to remember is that you've done nothing wrong. You're not in any kind of trouble. We want to see if you need our help. When we've spoken to all the people we need to speak to, we'll decide what should happen. It may be that nothing needs to happen. Or, we may give your family some help and advice. Sometimes we need to call a meeting called a child protection conference.
Child protection conferences
A child protection conference is a meeting which is called when an enquiry has shown that there are concerns about your safety, or the safety of a member of your family.
Useful links for children and young people
We've put together a list of links to websites and other resources, on a number of different topics, which you might find useful.