Cheshire East launches neglect strategy with public plea
Cheshire East Council has joined forces with partners to spearhead a new strategy to help prevent the most common form of child abuse - neglect. To tackle this head on, the council is calling on residents to help by reporting it.
Very serious matters such as radicalisation and child sexual exploitation are firmly in the minds of the public but the numbers of cruelty and neglect offences in England are the highest they have ever been. Neglect affects one in 10 children and in many cases leads on to even more serious issues.
Through Cheshire East’s Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) the neglect strategy will tackle the key challenge of identifying neglect much sooner and intervening immediately.
If you see any of the following in a child or young person then neglect may be happening:
- Often in dirty clothes;
- Looking malnourished
- Being out of school during normal school hours; and
- Displaying very withdrawn behaviour
In developing the strategy, the authority worked with children and young people affected by abuse and neglect, who said they wanted to be listened to, understand what their concerns are and what will happen next. This is what they said.
“When neglected you feel alone, isolated and like you’re different to the rest, nothing you do or say matters.”
“I felt like I missed out and for me it felt like it was my fault we weren’t allowed what others had, we didn’t get the love others got. It makes you feel different and even now two years later the feeling never goes away.”
Councillor Liz Durham, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: "Historically the challenge we have faced as a society in addressing this terrible problem, is that many of us have been too unsure of ourselves to come forward. Hopefully this will now change.
“Cheshire East Council is committed to making a difference to the lives of young people in our communities. We want the borough to be a great place to be young, where all our children and young people can thrive and feel safe from harm and neglect.
“The wider community of Cheshire East has such a vital role to play in ensuring that we achieve this.”
Gill Frame, independent chair of the LSCB said: “The impact of neglect on children is enormous. Neglect causes great distress to children, leading to poor health, educational and social outcomes and is potentially fatal.”
If you think you have seen signs of child neglect, please call 0300 123 5012 or visit our neglect page. Your information will be treated in complete confidence.
Pokémon GO is the latest app to take the world by storm. Despite its obvious appeal, parents need to be careful and ensure that they and their children are aware of the dangers, so that they can enjoy the game safely, especially as the game encourages players to meet face-to-face with people that they may not have previously met. The Safeguarding Children e-Academy highlights these dangers, the NSPCC have also developed a helpful parent's guide to keeping children safe.
NSPCC launches the PANTS campaign, July 2016
The NSPCC has launched the PANTS song and animation to help protect children from sexual abuse. You can view this on the NSPCC website:
You can also see it on You Tube
You may remember that the NSPCC launched the PANTS campaign three years ago to provide support to parents to enable them to talk to their children about staying safe without even having to use the term sexual abuse. This campaign was based on a Council of Europe initiative called The Underwear Rule and developed this to form the PANTS acrostic with each letter representing a safety message:
P – Privates are private
A – Always remember your body belongs to you
N – No means no
T – Talk about secrets that upset you
S - Speak up, someone can help.
Since the start of the campaign, the NSPCC have helped over 400,000 parents talk to their children about sexual abuse and have developed a range of materials that can be used with young children.
The PANTS song and animation, aimed at children aged 4-8 years old and made by Aardman Animations, creators of Morph, Wallace & Gromit, and Shaun the Sheep, will be promoted in cinemas UK-wide. It’ll also be shared online, through social media and across various sites, including Mumsnet and Huffington post. It features dinosaurs explaining how to stay safe from abuse, led by our new friendly character, Pantosaurus.
The PANTS song is charming and very catchy and we believe that young children will quickly pick up on it. In launching the campaign, Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC said: “We know many parents will struggle with the idea of talking to their children about sexual abuse but it’s vital if we want our children to understand how to stay safe. Parents know it’s an important conversation to have but don’t always know how to go about it. We hope our new child-friendly and catchy animation will act as a conversation starter helping parents to address the topic of sexual abuse.”
Coming Soon...blanket ban on "legal highs"
The Psychoactive Substances Act will come into force on 26 May 2016. This will mean a blanket ban on ‘legal highs’, and the introduction of tough new enforcement powers. The act provides a range of criminal and civil sanctions including new powers for police and tough sentences of up to 7 years for offenders.
World social work day - 15th March 2016
World social work day 2016 (WSWD) is an annual occasion when social workers around the globe are highlighting the work they do. The international theme this year is 'Promoting the Dignity and Worth of People'.
CSE awareness day - 18th March 2016
The national child sexual exploitation awareness day aims to highlight the issues surrounding child sexual exploitation; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children or children developing inappropriate relationships with other children.
Show your support and join the Thunderclap.
NSPCC whistleblowing advice line
The new Whistleblowing Advice Line will be officially launched on Saturday 13th February 2016. This has been developed to provide support to employees wishing to raise concerns over how child protection issues are being handled in their own or other organisations.
The NSPCC Whistleblowing Advice Line can be reached on 0800 028 0285.
The Home Office and Department for Education commissioned the NSPCC to manage the advice line after a firm commitment to do so was made by the Government in its Tackling CSE report in March 2015.
The advice line is not intended to replace any current practices or responsibilities or organisations working with children. The helpline advisors would encourage professionals to raise any concerns about a child to their own employer in the first instance. However, the advice line offers an alternative route if whistleblowing internally is difficult or professionals have concerns around how matters are being handled.
New drive to protect children from extremism
The Education Secretary has announced a package of measures to protect children from extremism. These include: a website for parents and teachers offering advice on preventing extremism; an escalation of Ofsted inspections of unregistered, illegal, independent schools; and a consultation on registering children who go missing from school.
Source: DfE press release 19 January 2016
Calendar of Safeguarding Issues
Please find the 2016 Safeguarding Calendar (PDF. 102KB). We hope this will be useful if you are planning any future events.
Children & Young People's Improvement Plan
This short guide (PDF.337KB) for professionals sets out activities to be undertaken for the partnership to improve outcomes for children and young people and address the recommendations from the Ofsted Inspection July 2015.
Coming Into Care
Coming Into Care/My Review booklets are to be launched on the 17th December 2015; a practical USB Stick containing all relevant information, to find out more follow this link to the Coming Into Care website.
In addition, a highly innovative 'app' based around the 'Your Health, Your Life, Your Choice - A guide to local health services for young people.
More information can be found by going to: C4Chealth where you can download on to Apple or android devices.
On 7th July 2014 the Home Secretary announced an Independent Inquiry to consider whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse formally opened in July.
Justice Lowell Goddard, the senior New Zealand judge leading it, opened the inquiry with these words: "The task ahead of us is daunting. The sexual abuse of children over successive generations has left permanent scars".
Her terms of reference mean she will have to examine the causes and effects of child abuse in all state or non-state institutions, as far back in history as required.
Official purpose of inquiry:
- To consider the extent to which state and non-state institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation
- To consider the extent to which those failings have since been addressed
- To identify further action needed to address any failings identified
- To consider the steps which it is necessary for state and non-state institutions to take in order to protect children from such abuse in future
- To publish a report with recommendations
Find out more on the website of the enquiry.
If you are concerned about a child ring NSPCC HELPLINE ON 0800 917 1000
If you are an adult, you can call NAPC free on 0800 085 3330 who provide a support line for adults who have suffered any type of abuse in childhood.
November Childrens Rights Month
Last year 2800 Children, Young People and Adults got involved, Take a look at some of the activitys that have been happening this November by following this link - November Childrens Rights
Hands Up For Childrens Rights 26th November 2015.
Child Protection Conferences
Please see the upcoming changes to how Child Protection Conferences (PDF, 199KB) are to be carried out in Cheshire East.
Child Sexual Exploitation
Please find the Child Sexual Exploitation Resource Guide (PDF, 359KB).
Many professionals are wary about sharing information and are concerned about breaching the Data Protection Act. Organisations in Cheshire East have signed up to the Information Sharing Agreement 2015 which is clear about sharing information and encourages practitioners to balance the risk of sharing with the risk of not sharing.
Everyone working with children must know the signs and symptoms of abuse and understand under what circumstances they are allowed to share information. The safety and welfare of children is of paramount importance and practitioners need to feel confident about when and how information can be legally shared.
Here is a Information Sharing One Minute Guide (PDF, 505KB) to guide you. View the full Information Sharing Agreement.
Making Children Safer
Here is a briefing to Parents and Professionals in relation to making children safer. Child Protection Conferences in Cheshire East (PDF, 123KB)
Act Now Posters
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Reporting Duty
The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) mandatory reporting duty comes into force on the 31st October 2015. The Home Office has published procedural information on the duty of help health and social care professionals, teachers and the police prepare.
FGM Mandatory Reporting Procedural Information (PDF, 253KB)
The Forced Marriage Unit has released a new film demonstrating the devastating impact of forced marriage on victims and their families. The film aims to raise public awareness of the issue and warns of the criminal consequences of involvement. See below link.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
"Game of 72"
Game of 72 is a Facebook ‘craze’ which encourages young people to disappear for up to three days without a trace. This social network involves young teenagers disappearing without trace for 72 hours, contacting loved ones is forbidden.
Called ’12, 24, 72’ or ‘Game of 72’ the dare is shrouded in secrecy by the youngsters involved. News of its existence only came to light when a 13 year old French girl went missing for 3 days in the country before turning up safe and well at her home. When questioned all the teen would say was that she’s done the ‘Facebook game’.
The current intelligence picture does not suggest that it is prevalent in the North West Region, however there would obviously be potential safeguarding risks for vulnerable youngsters involved.
National Memorial Day for Honour Killings
The first memorial day for victims of so-called honour killings took place on Tuesday 14th July 2015.
This day is more poignant for Cheshire as it would have been the 29th birthday of Shafilea Ahmed, who was killed by her parents when she was 17 after suffering years of "honour-based" violence.
UK police forces recorded more than 11,000 cases of "honour" crime between 2010 and 2014.
They are acts committed to defend the supposed honour or reputation of a family and community. The crimes, usually aimed at women, can include emotional abuse, abduction, beatings and murder.
Read the news article on the BBC.
If you are aware of any issue in relation to honour violence or forced marriage then you should consult with ChECS on 0300 123 5012.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM is also known as female circumcision or female genital cutting, is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the range of procedures which involve “the partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia or another injury to female genital organism whether form cultural or any other non-therapeutic reason”. It is a deeply rooted tradition widely practiced among specific populations in Africa and parts of Asia, which served as a complex form of social control of women’s sexual and reproductive rights. Procedures are mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15, and occasionally on adult women.
If you are concerned that a child is at risk of FGM or has undergone the procedure telephone ChECS on 0300 123 5012 to discuss your concerns.
Act Now Safeguarding Conference 2015
The Act Now Safeguarding conference took place on the 1st July at Wychwood Park and was a fantastic opportunity to listen from children and young people about issues such as:
- LGBTQ bullying
- Safeguarding and the student voice
- Relationship abuse
- Substance misuse and legal highs
- Emotional health, self-esteem and well-being as a way of preventing bullying
The student presentations can be viewed below:
'Act on it - Act Now' video
Please watch the 'Act on it - Act Now' video with some key messages from children, young people and practitioners. The video is introduced by Ian Rush the Independent Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Dangerous Dogs Guidance
New practice guidance is now available for professionals attending addresses where there may be or suspect there may be a dangerous dog. If you are concerned then dial the police on 101 and ask for advice. The guidance can be viewed here (PDF, 542KB).
May 2015 - Pan Cheshire child sexual exploitation (CSE) campaign ‘know and see’ shortlisted for a public sector communication award
The Cheshire wide campaign ‘know and see’, launched in January last year has been shortlisted for an award in the ‘public engagement initiative of the year’ category. The campaign continues to raise awareness of the signs of CSE . The campaign has targeted parents, teachers, councillors, taxi drivers, hotel receptionists and council staff who work with children & young people. Watch ‘What Darren did’ - A glimpse into the experiences of a victim of child sexual exploitation in Cheshire.
Congratulations to the team and good luck at the awards in July.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) awareness day
Thanks to everyone who joined in to raise awareness of CSE by donating a tweet or facebook post on Wednesday 18th March – National CSE Awareness Day.
#CSEday15 was trending worldwide and lots of you took part by writing a pledge on your hands for #helpinghands. Over 2 million people across Cheshire and beyond were reached, demonstrating the power of social media.
All four Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) have been working together and their Pan Cheshire CSE Strategy (PDF, 4.34MB) was launched on the same day, which outlines how all partners across the region intend to address and continually improve the way that CSE is tackled.
March 2015 - Pan Cheshire strategy for child sexual exploitation
Child sexual exploitation strategy (PDF, 4.34MB)
Child sexual exploitation destroys the lives of individuals and affects all our communities. The four Local Safeguarding Children Board’s (LSCBs) in Cheshire that we lead, are determined to address it. The launch of this strategy to highlight how we are working with young people and communities to inform them about CSE and the key things to look for.
Please view the Pan Cheshire CSE media release (PDF, 3.1MB) for more information
March 2015 - Safe sleep week
National Safer Sleep week has been initiated by the Lullaby Trust as research in 2013 found over half of new mums were not following sleeping safety advice. More information is available in the documents below:
March 2015 - Know and see the signs of child sexual exploitation (CSE)
Hotels across the county have been sent awareness packs containing a variety of material for use within each site – this includes one poster aimed at cleaners and maintenance staff and another poster aimed at reception staff. These contain important information on what staff should look out for in terms of young people visiting a hotel.
If you are concerned that someone you know may be at risk of child sexual exploitation please contact Cheshire Police on 101. Information can also be left anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.
News release - November 3, 2014
As part of a continuing campaign to raise awareness about Child Sexual Exploitation, schools across Cheshire East will be playing a key role in raising awareness this week.
Pupils and staff from every school have been invited to take part in an exciting development day to learn more about the signs and to hear first-hand from a survivor of child sexual exploitation.
Based on lessons learnt from other areas and the views of children and young people, the ‘Know and See’ campaign aims to help keep vulnerable children safe. Most importantly the campaign gives them, and the adults involved, vital information.
The PAN-Cheshire campaign involves all agencies on the Local Safeguarding Children Board and aims to raise awareness of how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation, what to do, and how to prevent it. As part of the current focus on students, schools and parents, packs have been distributed to every school in the borough, encouraging them to run assemblies, distribute leaflets, posters and stickers.
“Everyone involved in safeguarding children and young people across Cheshire East is working hard to tackle this issue to ensure the right advice and support is in place for victims and potential victims.”
Anyone with any concerns about a child or young person should call Cheshire East Consultation Service on 0300 123 5012 (opt2) or out of office hours call our Emergency Duty Team on 0300 123 5022.
August 2014 – Thematic review into suicide and self-harm in young people
An independent thematic review of suicide and self-harm in young people in Cheshire East (PDF, 496KB) has been published by the Local Safeguarding Children Board. The Board took the decision to carry out the review after four young people under the age of 18 committed suicide in 2012/13. The review also included the case of a young woman in her early twenties due to her history of involvement with relevant agencies for much of her life.
The report reflects evidence from a large number of sources including international, national and regional research, the views of professionals working in this field in Cheshire East and the experiences of young people who have experience of using local mental health services. It also includes the views of the families of the young people who committed suicide, where they chose to take part in the review.
If anyone has been affected by the content to this report there are local and national organisations who can offer help and advice including:
- Visyon - A Cheshire charity committed to improving young people’s emotional wellbeing
- Cheshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – sets out the support available from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership for young people with mental health problems
- Papyrus- A national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. Includes advice and support for parents
- Young Minds - UK charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Includes advice and support for parents.
- Help is at Hand (PDF, 570KB) – a resource for people bereaved by suicide and other sudden traumatic deaths.