The CYSCP have produced the following One Minute Guides which are intended to contain useful information professionals can download from our website. Work is ongoing to develop more of this to inform and assist professionals and frontline workers.
A multi-agency collaborative approach to identification and support for children and young people who are primarily at risk of or subject to Child Criminal Exploitation, including County Lines, Child Sexual Exploitation and Modern Slavery
Please also see further information regarding CAMHS within the following leaflets:
Further information about this service is also on the CAMHS website.
*Please note this is joint with North Yorkshire and you will be directed to the NYSCP webpage*
Disabled children may be particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect for a variety of reasons, including:
In addition to increased risk factors, disabled children may have communication difficulties which make it difficult to tell others what is happening to them. Adults, including professionals assessing their needs and caring for them may concentrate on the child’s special needs and overlook signs and symptoms which may suggest that the child is being maltreated. Often, signs indicating maltreatment may be attributed to the disability.
A professional who has a concern for a disabled child must consider:
Where there is a concern for a disabled child who is already subject to a care plan, for example in receipt of short break care, those professionals assessing the concern and those who are responsible for coordinating and delivering the plan must work closely together to ensure that the child’s needs are met in a holistic way.
Where child protection issues are considered in regard to a child with disabilities, there must be involvement by key professionals who know the child well, including those who have a comprehensive understanding of the child’s disability, method of communication, and any associated medical condition.
As multi-agency partners we should be inclusive and anti-discriminatory within our practice. LGBTQ+ inclusion is often an area we do not discuss too frequently, and yet it impacts many of the individuals we work with. Recent changes to law mean that LGBTQ+ consideration is even more important than ever.
Section 7 of the Equality Act (2010) has recently been extended to include non-binary and other gender non-conforming individuals and Bell v Tavistock (2020) has halted all referrals of under 18s with Gender Identity Dysphoria from hormone therapy without court approval. LGBTQ+ issues are increasingly pertinent for the young people we work with and impact individuals in many different ways.
Below are a series of resources you may find useful when working with children and young people:
Parental mental illness does not necessarily have an adverse impact on a child’s care and developmental needs, however, studies of child deaths through abuse or neglect have shown showed clear evidence of parental mental illness in some cases.
Post-natal depression can impact adversely on a mother’s ability to care for a child. The impact of parental mental ill health on the child’s development is linked to the overall parenting capacity and family and environmental factors.
Where any of the following parental risk factors are evident, consideration should be given to whether there is a current concern for the child which needs assessing:
The presence of other risk factors such as domestic abuse and parental substance misuse may compound the concerns for the child. Where there is a concern for a child whose parent has a mental health illness it is important to liaise with Adult Mental Health Services in order to:
Adult Mental Health Services use a tool called the ‘PAMIC’ (Potential for the Adult’s Mental Ill Health to Impact on the Child) tool to assess the likelihood and severity of the impact of an adult’s parental mental ill health on a child. It helps with the consideration of the nature of risk but also the protective factors for the child.
There are simple things we can all do to help prevent suicide. The importance of listening, kindness, and caring are all themes that have come up more often than usual during this pandemic. These are all very meaningful behaviours which we can all use by developing our awareness and skills to offer these in simple and straightforward ways.
This BBC news article gives a great practical summary about how you can develop your listening skills. The article talks about the S H U S H method:
S how you care
The Kindness website provides tips on kindness that are founded in evidence about why kindness is so important. They have recently conducted a survey on what are the most valued acts of kindness during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Action for Happiness website has a range of resources that are focused on kindness and provides examples of acts of kindness, and links to the useful reports such as this Mental Health Foundation report about the evidence of the importance of kindness.
A recently launched campaign #feelrealyork aims to encourage people to share how they feel, to support people to talk and listen, details can be found at the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group website.
Healthwatch York have produced a York Mental Health and Wellbeing Guide which contains all the useful contact details of services available within City of York.
Suicide is a very sensitive issue which many of us can find difficult to talk about. Sometimes this arises from people’s personal or professional experiences of suicide. Often, it can be because people find the topic uncomfortable, worry they may say the wrong thing, appear insensitive, or be out of their depth. To help you build skills and confidence to be able to support suicide prevention, the Zero Suicide Alliance organisation provides free suicide prevention training which can be accessed Zero Suicide Alliance website, or also from the Talk Suicide website. It is a short, straightforward and clear online course that can be taken by anyone, providing practical and useful ways to help keep people safe.
The Samaritans website has a range of information, including facts and details of campaigns to help suicide prevention. They also provide listening support services every hour of every day every year which can be accessed by calling 116 123 for free. Their Small Talk Saves Lives campaign gives details about how we can all make a difference.
There are a range of resources available that people can access or be signposted if they would benefit from support that can be found on the www.livewellyork.co.uk site here or York Mental Health Directory here.
Common myths associated with suicide are unhelpful. This HelpGuide article explains many of these in more detail. Probably the most common myth, is that talking about suicide may give someone the idea. This is not true, talking about suicide can help someone who is having suicidal thoughts feel able to seek help. Suicide is also not inevitable and talking about it can help prevent it.
See the Online Training page for details of the PAMIC tool - Impact of Parental /Carer Mental Ill Health on Children online training course.
It is important not to make assumptions about the impact on a child of parental drug and/or alcohol misuse. However, a parent's practical caring skills may be diminished by misuse of drugs and/or alcohol. Some substance misuse may give rise to mental states or behaviour that put children at risk of injury, psychological distress or neglect. Some substance misusing parents may find it difficult to give priority to the needs of their children. Finding money for drugs and/or alcohol may reduce the money available to the household to meet basic needs or may draw families into criminal activities.
Children may be at risk of physical harm if drugs and paraphernalia, eg needles, are not kept safely out of reach. Some children have been killed through inadvertent access to drugs, eg methadone stored in a fridge. In addition, children may be in danger if they are a passenger in a car whilst a drug/alcohol misusing carer is driving.
The risk will be greater when the adult's substance misuse is chaotic or otherwise out of control. Children are particularly vulnerable when parents are withdrawing from drugs.
The children of substance misusing parents are at increased risk themselves of developing drug and alcohol problems.
Maternal substance misuse in pregnancy can have serious effects on the health and development of the unborn baby.
Support is available for young people in the community or a school, at a mutually convenient place and time. Approach is flexible and based upon reducing the harm drugs & alcohol can cause. Referrals can be made by the Young People themselves, by family, friends and other professionals. The only requirement is that the young person is aware the referral is being made and they are willing to meet. All aspects of our service is free to access.
Support may include:
Private fostering rules apply when children and young people are cared for on a full time basis by a person who is not their parent, a person with parental responsibility, or a defined relative (a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether of full or half blood or by marriage), or a step-parent. The unmarried partner of a parent is not a “step-parent” for this purpose and will be considered to be a private foster carer.
Private fostering arrangements are those where it is intended for the placement to be of 28 days or more. They are generally made with the agreement of the child’s parent, but this may not necessarily be the case.
Private fostering rules only apply to children under 16 years, or under 18 if they are disabled.
Professionals who come into contact with privately fostered children – such as teachers, religious leaders, doctors and health visitors – are required to tell Children’s Social Care about the private fostering arrangement so that Children’s Social Care can carry out their duty to safeguard the child.
The Private Fostering One Minute Guide contains information in one useful document.
Email the MASH Team on MASH@york.gov.uk or phone 01904 551900.
Suicide, suicidal thoughts and self-harm are difficult and sensitive subjects for young people and for those who support them. It is vitally important that a young person who expresses thoughts of suicide or indicates that they may be engaging in self-harmful behaviour, in whatever form that may be, is taken seriously and responded to in a supportive, non-judgemental and compassionate way. Whilst there are strong links between suicidal thoughts and self-harm, particularly medically serious self-harm, and such episodes often relate to similar feelings of distress or other psychological pain, they can often be entirely unrelated. Someone who engages in self-injurious behaviour may never have thoughts of suicide or attempt to take their own life and some people who die by suicide have never previously self-injured. Every case, just like every child and young person is unique. However research shows a strong link between the two and it’s important for carers to know that previous self-harm and attempts at suicide are a strong risk factors in relation to suicide.
The City of York Self-harm and Suicidal Behaviour booklet is intended for use by practitioners working in a wide range of settings such as schools and youth or community groups.
If you are worried about a young person then it is important not to dismiss your concerns or to feel that it’s not your place to offer support. The safety, even the life of a young person may be at risk and an open, frank and compassionate conversation with that person is the only way to know for sure if that is the case. If you don’t feel able to have that conversation yourself, for whatever reason then you should discuss your concerns with your concerns with a medical professional , The School Wellbeing Service, your organisation’s safeguarding lead or the young person’s parents( regardless of how that may be received). If you have immediate concerns for the safety of a young person then it is appropriate to contact the emergency services as a matter of urgency.
Suggested sources of support:
York Hospital A and E
PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide Hopeline UK offers support to young people under 35 at risk of suicide and call-takers are able to advise parents, carers or anyone else who is worried about a young person - tel 0800 068 4141 (not 24 hours)
Live Well York contains many useful links to mental health resources
If you are a young person and you are having thoughts of suicide it is so important that you tell someone who you trust so that they can help you to overcome those feelings which you may be finding overwhelming. If you don’t know who to talk to then call PAPYRUS
If any suspicions are raised that a child or young person is being trafficked, or at risk of this, immediate action to safeguard the child or young person is required. This includes urgent liaison with the police.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 establishes that a person commits an offence if the person arranges or facilitates the travel of another with a view to being exploited, this involves cases where:
A child should be considered a victim of trafficking if they have been recruited, transported or transferred for the purpose of exploitation, either in an attempt to enter the country, or within the UK. They should also be considered a victim whether or not they have been forced, deceived or they believe that they are traveling willingly from one location to another, for example, where a child takes a bus or walks from one location to another for the purpose of exploitation.
A child cannot legally give consent to being trafficked.
Any agency and organisation that has concern for a child they believe may be a victim of trafficking should made a referral immediately to the York MASH and notify the police. This is to ensure that arrangements can be put in place to safeguard the child or young person and the police are made aware that a potential crime has been committed. When age is in doubt, the presumption has to be that the person is a child.
When the MASH Team and the Police have assessed the indicators of trafficking and arrangements have been put in place to safeguard the child, they should refer the child to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) using the NRM Referral Form.
Further information can be found on the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation page
It can be difficult to know where to start when you sit down to write a child protection safeguarding policy.
Guidance is available here: NSPCC - Writing a Safeguarding Policy