Concerned
about a child?

01724 296500

Out of hours:

01724 296555

Please visit www.northlincscmars.co.uk which is the new website in development for our multi-agency safeguarding arrangements. This LSCB website will be in place until June 2019 as a source of information and signpost to the Children's MARS website.

The information below has lots of tips on how to stay safe.

If you are worried about anything, it could be something big or something small – please don’t bottle it up. It can really help if you talk to someone. If there is something on your mind, contact ChildLine.

If you’re having problems that you can’t seem to fix on your own, or you are worried about a friend, talking to an adult you trust can help. They can support you and may be able to help you find ways to improve your situation. Talking to an adult who you trust can help you see your situation more clearly and can give you new ideas to help make things better.

Some young people get help from an adult on issues at home, like domestic violence or emotional abuse.

Other young people get support with something at school, like bullying.

Sometimes we can solve a problem ourselves by being more assertive or by building our confidence. But we can’t always fix things on our own and it’s okay to ask for help.

To call Childline ring 0800 1111. For an online chat visit their website

If you are concerned that you or a friend are being abused or may be at risk of harm, you should contact North Lincolnshire’s Children’s Services Duty Team on:

  • 01724 296500 (9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4.30pm Friday)
  • 0800 0853737 (free phone)
  • 01724 296555 (answerphone – out of office hours and at weekends )
  • 101 – Police non emergency
  • 999 – Police emergency

If you think someone has acted inappropriately towards you online or someone you know, you can report it to CEOP now or by visiting www.thinkuknow.co.uk

 

All the information you need for good emotional health and wellbeing in one place!

 

 

Life Central is a free emotional health and wellbeing website and app for young people.

 

 

 

It covers everything you need to know about:

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Exercise
  • Eating well
  • Bullying
  • Sexual health
  • Emotional health and wellbeing
  • Youth Council
  • and more

Studies by the charity Alcohol Concern show that drinking, particularly binge drinking is on the increase among young people. In one study, 47 per cent of 15-year-olds had drunk alcohol in the previous week. Research also shows that one in three 14-year-olds have tried drugs and by the age of 16, four out of ten young people will have tried at least one type of drug.

It is also a known fact that young people are more likely to have risky sex (eg without contraception, with lots of different partners or unintended sex) when under the influence of alcohol.

As many as one-in-14, 15 to 16-year-olds said they’d had unprotected sex after drinking. And up to 40 per cent of sexually active 13 to 14-year-olds were ‘drunk or stoned’ when having sex.

Further information

For more information on alcohol and drugs Talk to Frank 0800 77 66 00 or visit the Frank website

Check out the information on Legal Highs on the Frank website

For guides on sensible drinking visit Drink Aware

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.

There are a lot of reasons why young people run away from home.  You might be having problems at home or at school, or you may even be being hurt or harmed in some way. It can feel like you’ve got no one to talk to, and that running away is the only option.  That is not true. There are lots of people who can help.

Missing People have a free and confidential helpline that is open 24 hours a day. You can talk to them in confidence and they will explain your options and try to get you the help you want.

  • Call: 116 000
  • Text: 116 000
  • Email: 116000@missingpeople.org.uk

Bullying is deliberately hurtful behaviour that is repeated over a period of time. This can be:

  • Name calling and teasing
  • Threats and extortion
  • Physical violence
  • Social exclusion
  • Spreading malicious rumours

Bullying does not just happen face to face. Sometimes bullying can happen through the internet or mobile phones.

There are many different types of bullying. These include:

  • Racist bullying
  • Homophobic bullying
  • Cyber bullying

There is lots more information on Bullying on the council website.

Useful Websites

  • Childline
  • BullyingUK – advice on what to do if you are being bullied at school
  • Kidscape – Advice and learn practical skills on how to deal with bullying Kidscape – Advice and learn practical skills on how to deal with bullying
  • Homophobia – LGBT Youth can help support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people. You can get in touch in a number of ways if you have a question, need advice or support, or are just looking for someone to talk to.

Sexual exploitation is child abuse. Children and young people cannot consent to being sexually exploited. Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity in exchange for things such as money, gifts, accommodation, affection or status. The manipulation or ‘grooming’ process involves befriending children and gaining their trust. Often by feeding them drugs and alcohol. Sometimes over a long period of time before the abuse begins. The abusive relationship between victim and perpetrator involves an imbalance of power which limits the victim’s options. It is a form of abuse which is often misunderstood by victims and outsiders as consensual. Although it is true that the victim can be tricked into believing they are in a loving relationship, no child under the age of 18 can ever consent to being abused or exploited. (Barnardos 2012)

Contact

01724 296500 (9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4.30pm Friday)

0800 0853737 (free phone) 01724 296555 (answerphone – out of office hours and at weekends) 101 – Police non emergency999 – Police emergency

Further information

Childline – information about sexual abuse and how to get help

Barnardos – information about sexual abuse and how to get help

During bereavement, it can help if you talk about the person who has died, whether it was a grandparent, parent, brother, sister or friend. If you have lost a loved one it is important to have someone you can talk to about that person. It could be through photos, games, memory boxes or stories.

For more information on dealing with bereavement visit Child Bereavement UK

Exams can be a challenging time. Find out how you can beat exam stress and ensure you get the best possible results

Message boards are a great place to share tips, exam advice and any worries you might have

The Childline website has lots of useful advice on how to recognise and handle stress in leading up to exams

The NSPCC has a dedicated Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) helpline for those seeking advice and assistance about FGM. FGM is child abuse.  It is illegal and must be stopped.

If you are worried that you or someone you know if at risk of, or has had FGM call 0800 028 3550. It is free, anonymous and there is someone to speak to 24/7.  More more information on FGM visit the NSPCC website

FGM App – this app has been developed by Coventry University ahead of the summer break “cutting season”

Relationships can be with a variety people and in different forms. They can be with a boyfriend or a girlfriend in heterosexual or same sex relationships. They can be with parents and step parents, with friends and peers and with other adults that you trust.

Being in a relationship can be exciting especially if that person makes you feel loved and special. It can also be scary, even if you started as friends or have known them for a long time. It’s perfectly normal to worry about whether they really like you or what your friends might think. Or even what may happen in the future. But what makes a good, healthy relationship?

What is a Healthy Relationship?

A good relationship is built on a number of things. Being in a healthy relationship means that you are:

  • listened to by the other person
  • respected by the other person, not bullied to do things you do not want to do
  • encouraged to have other friends and family
  • supported to be independent and to have a job or go to college
  • in a relationship where you feel safe
  • in a relationship where there is good communication, trust and compromise

This list is not exhaustive! Being in a relationship should be fun and you should be happy being with that person without being afraid or scared.

For further information about relationships visit the The Hideout website

Check out the short video Is this love?

What a Healthy Relationship is not

Being scared of the other person or being terrified of how they may react to something that you have done is not a healthy relationship.  Abuse in teenage relationships is more common than you may think. A study by the Home Office found that 25% of girls and 18% of boys had been hit or physically attacked by a partner.

The following could be an indication of relationship abuse. If you are with someone who:

  • makes you feel scared
  • humiliates you
  • isolates you from friends and family
  • forces you into doing things that you really don’t want to

For some help or advice check out the IDAS website

Sexual Orientation

If you fancy people then you have a sexual orientation. Most people will either fancy people of the opposite sex, people of the same sex or people of both sexes. The labels that are most often used to describe these types of sexual orientation are:

Straight (or heterosexual) – this means people fancy people of the opposite sex – so a boy who fancies girls or a girl who fancies boys
Gay (or homosexual) – this means people who fancy people of the same sex – so a boy who fancies boys or a girl who fancies girls. Gay doesn’t just refer to boys!
Lesbian – this means girls who fancy girls. A girl who fancies other girls might call herself lesbian or gay
Bisexual (or Bi) – this means people who fancy people of both sexes

Sometimes other words are used to describe people’s sexual orientation, but these words are the ones that organisations like schools and health services usually use. It’s useful to have some common words that everyone understands just to make life a bit easier. For example, a sexual health clinic might hold a ‘Lesbian Drop-In’ session to offer help just to women who fancy women. The fact that everybody knows what is meant by a service for lesbians means that the right people will use it.

Sometimes people may not be sure what their sexual orientation is and that’s fine as well. Every gay or bisexual person had to go through a process of realising that they weren’t straight and this can be a confusing time. We use words like those above to make life easier but that doesn’t mean that you should ever feel under any pressure to label yourself. Many people experience confusion over their sexuality and this is really normal. Some people may go through a phase where they have an attraction to someone of the same sex or experience strong feelings towards a same-sex friend. This may or may not mean that you are gay so never feel pressured to fit into a particular group. Feelings are complicated things!

If you do feel that you are either gay or bisexual you may decide to come out to friends or family. If you want to know more check out the Stonewall website.

Where to go for help, advice and support

Brook – relationships and sex advice

Childline – chat online, ask questions on message boards or ring direct to get support

Respect not Fear – advice on contraception and sexual health

Stonewall – information on sexual orientation

The Hideout – a site designed to help children and young people understand domestic abuse

A forced marriage is where one or both people party to the marriage do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used.

The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats to harm themselves or someone else that they care about, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (taking your wages or not giving you any money) can also be a factor.

  • Are you being forced to marry someone in this country or abroad against your will?
  • Are you concerned that if you say ‘no’ to an arranged marriage you will let your family down?
  • Are you being pressurised by members of your family to enter into a marriage you are not sure about?
  • Do you fear you may bring SHAME on your family?

For further help take a look at the Forced Marriage Unit website.

Honour Network Helpline tel: 0800 5999 247

Useful Information

In 2012 the Home Office worked with a survivor of honour crimes and forced marriage who talked about her experiences to produce a film. It is published on the Home Office YouTube channel.

Halo Project – support and advice

Honour Based Violence Awareness Network – international research centre

IKWRO – research and information

ChildLine’s new campaign, #ListenToYourSelfie, helps you spot the signs of grooming and unhealthy relationships, both online and offline. New figures from ChildLine show that the number of counselling sessions for online sexual abuse worries rose last year by 24% to 3,716.

Source: NSPCC press release Date: 19 September 2016

Further information: Healthy and unhealthy relationships

Eating problems – Many young people have difficulties with eating food – for example not liking certain foods. Some people develop an eating disorder like anorexia, bulimia or binge eating after a distressing or traumatic experience. If you start to feel worried about the amount you eat or think that you might have a problem with food, contact Childline and talk it through with someone.

Call ChildLine free on 0800 1111

Depression and Feeling Low – Many young people feel sad or down when life seems really hard or it feels like no one understands you. It’s normal to feel like this sometimes. If you feel the sad thoughts and feelings are stopping you from being happy, enjoying your life, or that life isn’t worth living, then it might help to talk to someone who can listen to you and understand what you’re going through.

Jealousy – Jealousy is an emotion and a feeling. It’s a reaction to a belief that something you care about, or your relationship with someone is under threat. Jealousy is about wanting to keep something you have. Jealousy can get out of control and if this happens, it can take over your life and affect your friendships and relationships

Mental Health – refers to the way we feel about ourselves, how happy we are and whether we believe we have the strength to overcome challenges.  Always putting yourself down? Or feel like you have no confidence anymore? You are not alone – lots of young people feel exactly the same way. Call ChildLine free on 0800 1111

Self-harm – is when people hurt themselves or damage their health on purpose. Sometimes people do this in secret. There are lots of different reasons why someone might self-harm, but there are also different ways to cope and get help. Call ChildLine free on 0800 1111

Suicidal thoughts and feelings – Talk to someone if you are feeling suicidal right now and scared that you might harm yourself or you have a plan – it is important that you speak to somebody straight away.

Call ChildLine free on 0800 1111 or the Samaritans on 01724 860000 (local) or 08457 909090 (national)

Dial 999 in an emergency

Useful websites

Samaritans – if something is troubling you – get in touch

Young Minds – UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people

There are lots of reasons why some parents split up. Often it’s because one or both of them is unhappy. It’s not your fault that  this is happening. Your parents still love you. Divorce is a temporary thing as your family readjusts itself. Hang on in there. There is always someone to talk to.

  • Childline – a special help line for children Tel: 0800 1111  www.childline.org.uk
  • Divorce Aid – advice for children and families going through divorce www.divorce.co.uk
  • National Youth Advocacy Service – information and advice 0800 616101 www.nyas.net

Staying safe online

Computers and mobile phones help us all to share things, talk to our friends and meet new people. But they can also make it easier for bullies and other people who might want to hurt you to get close to you. It is important to know how to be safe on your computer, on your phone and on websites. Visit the Childline website for information on how to stay safe online

The 5rights initiative is a framework for empowering young people online – 5Rights takes the existing rights of children and young people (under 18), and articulates them for the digital world. 5Rights is about giving you the power to control things when you are online or playing games. Whether its knowing exactly what you’ve signed yourself up to when you tick the box agreeing those ridiculously long Ts & Cs that nobody reads, or being able to really easily remove any picture, posting or whatever else you put online, 5Rights is about giving you the power.

Gaming

Many young people play games online. These can be simple ones or large multiplayer games. In these games, people play against hundreds of other people who they often do not know. They can also interact with other players like in a social networking site. It’s important to stay safe online and not let the fantasy world of gaming affect your real life.

Social media

North Lincolnshire Youth Council led the development of Be SMART – a social media charter for young people, schools and families. the charter encourages young people to be aware of what could happen if social media is used in the wrong way.

Sexting

Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit text, image or video on their mobile phone, usually in a text message. It can be:

  • naked pictures or ‘nudes’
  • ‘underwear shots’
  • sexual or ‘dirty pics’
  • rude text messages or videos

They can be sent from a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or someone you’ve met online. You might have also sent a sexual photo, video or text to someone else.

Sexting can easily fall into the wrong hands. For more information on sexting and what to do if you are worried visit Childline

Watch the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) video.  This 10 minute drama has been designed for 14 to 18 year olds and deals with the subjects of sexting and cyberbullying – both issues that teenagers commonly face.

That’s Not Cool has been created to help young people and their parents understand how mobile phones, instant messaging and online profiles are all digital extensions of who we are. It aims to give the tools to help people think about what is, or is not, okay in their digital relationships. www.thatsnotcool.com

Useful websites

Childline – for information and useful tips

Think U Know – a guide to internet safety and safe surfing for young people

CEOP Command – a Safety Centre for advice and help or if you need to make a report

All workers are entitled to work in environments where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Under health and safety law the primary responsibility for this is down to employers. Employers have a duty to consult with their employees (or their representatives) on health and safety matters. For further information visit the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Visit the council website for information on child employment byelaws and guidance.

Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities have the same rights as any other child to be protected and cared for properly.

The Local Offer website provides information on staying safe, early help, resources, services, support, activities and events for North Lincolnshire’s children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and their families. Information is arranged according to age from pre-school through to early adulthood

Sex – is normal in loving relationships between couples above the age of consent. It’s not compulsory in any relationship, but you owe it to yourself to find out as much as you can about sex and how to keep yourself safe before making any decisions.

Relationships – Having a boyfriend or girlfriend for the first time is really exciting, but it can be scary too. It’s normal to have worries about it and what will happen in the future. Taking a chance is part of life and it’s also part of relationships, but it’s important to stay safe and happy.

Pregnancy – signs and symptoms – deciding what to do.

Sexually Transmitted Infections  – the different ways of preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Sexual orientation – is about who you are attracted to – physically and emotionally. Everyone has a sexual orientation and this might change over time. There is no set age that people get to know their sexual and emotional feelings. Everyone is different.

Transgender – A boy feeling that he is actually a girl trapped in a boy’s body, or a girl feeling she is a boy trapped in a girl’s body is called gender dysphoria. Transgender is a word used to describe different types of gender identity.

For further information on sex and relationships visit the Sexwise website or the NHS Choices website

Recent research by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner identified that young people did not understand consent to sexual activity.

A child under 13 is not legally capable of consenting to sexual activity. Any offence under the sexual offences act 2003 involving a child aged under 13 years is very serious. It should be taken to indicate that the child is suffering, or likely to suffer significant harm. It should be reported to the police immediately.

Sexual activity with a child aged under 16 is also an offence. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 states that consent in relation to sexual activity is:

A person consents if he or she agrees by choice to the sexual activity and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice

Consent involves three elements:

  1. CHOICE – The test for choice is whether the child or young person felt able to say ‘No’
  2. FREEDOM – Was the child or young person physically free to get away from the situation or were they being held against their will?
  3. CAPACITY – Did the child or young person have the maturity to make the right decision? Do they understand the possible consequences of complying? Were they intoxicated at the time so did not have the capacity to choose? The law not only sets down 16 as the age of consent, it also applies to whether a person has given their consent to sexual activity, or was able to give their consent, or whether sexual violence and rape in particular took place. In the context of child sexual exploitation, the term ‘consent’ refers to whether or not a child understands how one gives consent, withdraws consent and what situations (such as intoxication, duress, violence) can compromise the child or young person’s ability to consent freely to sexual activity.

The Triangular Pyramid Net highlights the three elements

The Not in our Community website includes information on protecting ourselves and each other against sexual exploitation of young people. It includes tips on keeping safe and how to get help.

If you need to travel by taxi it is important that you keep yourself safe. Follow the safety checklist below:

  • Make sure you only travel in a licensed cab
  • An unlicensed cab will not have a licence plate, so look for this before you get in the vehicle – the licence plate will also have the North Lincolnshire Council logo on it
  • You should never flag a car down in the street. You may be getting into an illegal, uninsured vehicle which could be dangerous. A hackney cab that is for hire will have an illuminated sign on the roof of the vehicle which indicates that it is for hire
  • If possible pre-book your taxi. When the taxi arrives, always make sure that the vehicle is from the taxi company that you called. It should have the company’s stickers on the doors. Check the driver is wearing an identification badge. There may also be one on display at the front of the vehicle or on the partition between the driver and passengers
  • When ringing for a taxi make sure no-one can overhear you give personal details such as your name and address. Anyone could turn up and pretend to be your driver
  • Before you go out, make sure you have put your taxi fare in a safe place that is separate to the rest of your money so you don’t spend it, making sure you can get home safely
  • Make sure you have enough money to pay for your journey. Ask the driver how much the fare will be before you start the journey to avoid any difficulty or embarrassment
  • Let someone know you are in the vehicle and on your way. Let them have the taxi licence number and if possible, make sure someone is waiting for you at your destination. The number of the licence will be on display in the vehicle, as well as on the plate on the rear of the vehicle
  • If you are travelling alone you may feel safer sitting in the back of the vehicle on the opposite side of the driver, so that you can see him / her in their mirror
  • If you chat to the driver, make sure you don’t give out any of your personal details
  • Never share a taxi with a stranger
  • If you feel threatened or uncomfortable for any reason, ask the driver to stop in a busy area, pay your fare and get out of the car

If you are unhappy with the taxi or private hire service, you can make a complaint to the licensed operator or to the Licensing department at North Lincolnshire Council. You can contact them on 01724 297750 or 297751. It would be helpful if you have a note of the license plate or vehicle registration.

Humberside Police work in partnership with local councils, licensees and other organisations to keep people safe while they socialise in towns and cities across the region.

Humberside Police offer the following advice to help reduce the chance of people becoming victims of crime or becoming hurt while on a boozy night out in Humberside:

  • Drink spiking is rare, but always protect your drink
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers
  • Stay with your friends on nights out as there is safety in numbers
  • Make sure you look after each other, have a great night and get home safely
  • Try to avoid arguments – people often say things they regret or become more aggressive while drinking
  • Don’t leave handbags, wallets or mobile phones either on display or unattended as thieves may be watching
  • Where possible don’t use your mobile phone or other personal gadgets like MP3 players in busy places as they may be a target for thieves
  • When using cash machines be vigilant of who is around you and ensure the ATM does not have any suspicious devices fitted to them
  • Always hide your PIN from view and put your cash away as quickly as possible and move away from the machine
  • Avoid using cash machines in dark and secluded locations
  • Don’t take controlled substances on nights out
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach or too quickly – remember to alternate your drinks with soft drinks as these will help you stay hydrated
  • Make sure you wrap up appropriately for a night out as alcohol lowers the body temperature

Stay safe getting home:

  • Plan your journey home in advance by arranging to book a taxi home or making use of the night bus services on a Friday and Saturday
  • Never use an unregistered taxi
  • Either hail a black cab or book a licensed taxi
  • Try not to walk home alone. If you must, stay alert and try to appear confident
  • Avoid isolated areas
  • If you feel you are being followed run towards populated areas and never towards somewhere remote
  • Do not drink and drive or travel with anyone drinking and driving

The AT-ID website is a website that has been made by adopted teens for adopted teens. It includes lots of real life stories, hot topics and useful links for advice and support.

Young carers are children or young people who look after someone in their family who has an illness, a disability, a mental health problem or a substance misuse problem.

Young carers may be taking on practical and / or emotional caring responsibilities that an adult would normally do.

A young carer’s extra responsibilities might include lifting someone to help them get around, helping an adult to cope with an addiction, and spending time helping a brother or sister to play. You and your family can ask for more help if you find yourself in this situation.

Online support for young carers

Carers Trust is a dedicated website and online support service for carers. The website has an online support team who are on hand to provide help and advice and to ensure a safe environment where young carers can chat to others in a similar position.

NHS Choices – has information on young carers rights and who can help

Drugs – information about drugs and the damage they can do to you

Alcohol – information about alcohol and the damage it can do to you

Drink Aware – sensible drinking

Smoking – smoking cigarettes can be addictive and quitting can be really difficult. But there’s lots of help out there if you want to quit smoking or want to help a friend or family member stop.

FRANK – friendly, confidential drugs advice for young people

My Health – Boys Bodies – questions and answers

My Health – Girls Bodies – questions and answers

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.

 

Many of you told us that body image is something which causes you concern. It is an issue for both girls and boys with media images (which are usually airbrushed or Photoshopped) causing you to make unfair comparisons.

Promoting positive body image is something which we feel really strongly about. We want you to feel good about yourselves.

A group of young people recently started the ‘Be Unique’ Project which aims to celebrate individuality. They have designed a screen saver which has been sent to all schools and colleges. They have also produced a colour postcard outlining ‘ten ways to improve Body Image’. Keep a look out for these in schools, colleges, leisure centres, libraries and other public places.

For more information contact young.voice@northlincs.gov.uk

Useful websites

Positive Steps – council website

Youth Council – council website

Young Voice News Updates – council website