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.

Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs there is. It has its challenges and rewards. You get very little training to prepare yourself for what lies ahead.

There is no such thing as a perfect parent but there are ways of making life easier, less stressful and understand that asking for help is a sign of responsibility rather than a sign of failing.

There is a great deal of information available from various organisations and websites, both nationally and locally, which offer advice, guidance and support to help you.

The Home Office has produced the Information Guide – Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse. Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse (APVA) is a hidden form of domestic violence and abuse that still has no legal definition.

Read the policy briefing [PDF 76Kb]

Healthy relationships are all about respecting each other. You should feel loved, safe and free to be yourself.

Relationships can be confusing and it can be difficult to understand what is and isn’t normal behaviour.

But disrespectful and unacceptable behaviour can come in many forms. It isn’t limited to just physical behaviour; it can also go way beyond that. For example, it’s not OK for someone to try and pressure you into sending a nude pic, or to expect the same things to happen that they’ve seen in a porn film. If someone makes you do something you don’t want to, makes you feel scared, intimidated or tries controlling you, it’s not acceptable and is never OK.

Disrespect Nobody has lots of information, including different types of abuse, advice and organisations that can help.

Deciding if your child is ready to be left home alone can be a tricky decision. There are lots of things to think about. Plus, there are no hard and fast ‘home alone’ rules or laws because every child is different. Whether you or your child are comfortable with the idea will often depend on how mature and adaptable your child is – and we all know how much this can vary from child to child.

The NSPCC has produced some guidance to help you make up your mind about whether leaving your child home alone is a good idea, as well as tips for choosing appropriate childcare if you decide it’s not.

Read more: NSPCC website

There are a number of reasons that can lead to a child going missing or running away and on most occasions they return home safely. As a parent or carer you play a really important role in helping them to stay safe.

If your child is missing or has run away from home, or you are worried about a child or young person who is missing or running away, this information will help you to access support and be aware of what to expect from the agencies available to support you and your child.

Parents and carers are normally expected to have undertaken the following basic measures to try to locate the missing child, if considered safe to do so. Anyone else who has care of a child without parental responsibility should take all reasonable steps to locate the child and ascertain their safety. Professionals working with families should support parents and carers in taking the following necessary steps:

  • Search bedroom / accommodation / outbuildings / vehicles
  • Contact known friends and relatives where a child may be
  • Visit locations that the child is known to frequent, if it is possible
  • Call or text any mobile phone held by the child and leave a message asking them to make contact
  • Contact the child’s school or school friends to gather any available information regarding the child’s whereabouts

Reporting my child missing to the police

At the point where you consider your child to be missing you should inform Humberside police without delay on 101. If a child is at immediate risk, this should be reported without delay to Humberside Police on 999.

You should always ask for and record the Police Incident Number

When reporting a child missing to the police any relevant information that might help to find or support the child should be shared, including:

  • Name, date of birth
  • any specific risks
  • a description of the child and the clothing they were wearing
  • any mobile phone numbers
  • the child’s use of social media
  • details of where the child was last seen, when and with whom
  • a recent photograph
  • relevant addresses, known associates and addresses frequented
  • details of any previous absences – when, where, for how long, with whom, where found/when returned
  • the circumstances and any relevant information such as an argument, being bullied etc
  • any other information that can be seen as increasing the vulnerability of the child such as a learning disability or if the child has previously experienced or considered to be at risk of sexual exploitation

Children’s Services can be contacted for support – contact the Single Access Point on 01724 296500 Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm and on evenings and weekends contact the Extended Hours team on 01724 296555.

Possible responses to a missing child report

Once you have reported your child missing to the police, they will make an assessment of the level of risk to them. Your child’s age and circumstances of their disappearance (eg whether or not they have been reported missing before) will dictate the level of investigation they undertake. This may include:

  • Searching the areas where your child was last seen, or is known to frequent – this will include your own home and garden, shed and/or garage
  • Attempts to contact them by phone or computer
  • Reviewing CCTV footage

If your child continues to be missing, good communication and close cooperation with the police and any other professionals involved is essential to ensure that any significant concerns are identified and appropriate safeguarding action is taken.

What happens when my child returns home?

If your child’s whereabouts are known or suspected, it is the responsibility of parents or carers to arrange for your child’s return. Your child may return of their own accord. It is important to remain calm, welcoming and supportive of your child.

When your child is found or returns home you must inform the police.

On finding a child, or on their return, a safe and well check will be undertaken by the police as soon as possible. It will not usually be conducted over the telephone. The purpose is to check for any indications that your child has suffered harm, where and with whom they have been, and to give them an opportunity to disclose any offending against or by them.

Independent return interviews

The law says that local councils must offer independent return interviews to all children and young people who run away or go missing.

When your child is found, they must be offered an independent return interview within 72 hours of their return. Independent return interviews provide an opportunity to uncover information that can help protect your child from the risk of going missing again, from risks they may have been exposed to while missing or from risk factors in their life.

In North Lincolnshire this role is carried out by a Children’s Missing Advocate. In some cases independent return interviews may be completed by other professionals where it is deemed in the best interests of the child to do so. Interviews will take place somewhere that your child feels safe and comfortable which can be at school or home.

What happens next?

At the independent return interview the Children’s Missing Advocate will decide with your child if there is anything that either of them needs to do. This may include that you and your child are offered support and that a plan is agreed to address any issues identified in the interview. This may include a referral to other support services.

For support or more information

Missing People: Offers 24 hour support, advice and practical help if you are affected by a child going missing from home. You can contact them for free on 116 000 or email 116000@missingeople.org.uk. Visit www.missingpeople.org.uk

Missing Kids: Offers advice and guidance. Visit www.missingkids.co.uk

Family Lives: Provides a confidential advice and listening service for parents that provides help and support in all aspects of family life. You can call on 0808 800 2222. Visit www.familylives.org.uk

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC): Provides a helpline for adults who are concerned about the safety or welfare of a child. You can also call them on 0808 800 5000. Visit www.nspcc.org.uk

Children’s Society: National charity dedicated to supporting children and making lives better. Visit www.childrenssociety.org.uk

Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (PACE): National charity working with parents and carers of children who were/are at risk of being sexually exploited. You can call on 0113 2403040 or visit www.paceuk.info

The Polish Domestic Violence Helpline is a national helpline that supports Polish victims of domestic violence living in the United Kingdom.  The helpline staff speak Polish.  There is also a website with information for Polish victims.

Tel no: 01270 260106

Website – www.nowezyciebezprzemocy.co.uk

E-mail: nzbp.info@yahoo.co.uk.

Polish Domestic Violence Helpline – English version

Polish Domestic Violence Helpline – Polish version

Humber All Nations Alliance (HANA) is a project supported by the Police Crime Commissioner for Humberside. It supports the BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) in the Hull and Humber region.

HANA can help if you, or a member of your family, or someone you know becomes a victim of crime (hate crime, theft, burglary, identity theft, fraud, sexual violence, domestic violence or any other type of violence or crime).

Contact

Humber All Nations Alliance (HANA), 44 Portland Street, Hull, HU2 8JX

Tel: 01482 491177

www.hanaonline.org.uk

Scunthorpe Outreach – Crosby Advice Centre

115 Frodingham Road, Scunthorpe, DN15 7JT

Tel: 07941463968 – ask for Marie

Safelives is a national charity dedicated to ending Domestic Abuse. Their experts find out what works to stop domestic abuse. Then they do everything they can to make sure families everywhere benefit.

Scunthorpe Domestic Abuse Housing Management Service

From 1 April 2016 the Amber Project will no longer be providing Domestic Abuse support in North Lincolnshire. It will become the Scunthorpe Domestic Abuse Housing Management Service. All new referrals for support and enquiries will be directed to the Its My Right Service at The Blue Door.

Amber Alert Newsletter – issue 1 [PDF 3Mb]

Useful Documents

Pokemon Go is an app enabling users to create a character (any name) and take part in a mobile version of the Pokemon game made popular through Nintendo.

The UK Safer Internet Centre explains a bit more about the app, the risks and what parents can do to avoid them.

A new campaign which aims to help parents and carers deal with their children sending self-generated nude or nearly nude images and videos – known as ‘sexting’ – has been launched by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

A series of short films has been published on the NCA’s website which give parents advice on talking to their children about ‘sexting’ and helping them keep safe from the risks associated with ‘sexting’. The films also explain how parents can get help if their child is at risk after sharing an image.

Additionally, a free guidance pack is available on the Thinkyouknow website to support teachers, police officers and other practitioners working with families to deliver the film’s key messages to the parents that they work with.