Advice for children & young people
This page is for children and young people and has information and advice about what to do if you are worried about yourself or someone else under the age of 18.
I am worried about myself or another child or young person
If you are worried about something that is happening to you or someone you know, you don’t have to deal with it on your own – visit the Childline
website for advice at www.childline.org.uk
(Childline is not just for young children!)
Speak to a teacher or another adult you trust and they will help you to get the help you need or take a look at our concerned page for who to call for help
If you are finding it difficult to get support, you could get in touch with organisations like National Youth Advocacy Service or Help at Hand. They can make sure your views, feelings and wishes are heard and taken seriously, and help you get the services you are entitled to.
Who else could help me?
If you need help you can speak to an adult you trust. It may be a doctor, key worker, teacher or social worker.
There are also lots of organisations who specialise in helping children and young people affected by abuse and neglect; here are some that you can contact or speak to confidentially:
Find out more in the quick guide on getting help to overcome abuse
I am missing from home or care or thinking of running away
If you are missing from home, or thinking of running away, you can find help and advice by calling or texting the Runaway Helpline
on 116000 or you can visit their website www.missingpeople.org.uk
I am being bullied
If you are worried that you are being bullied visit the Bullybusters
or call Bullybusters on tele: 0800 169 6928 – they can provide support for victims of bullying and their families.
What is Safeguarding?
Every child and young person has a right to be safe. Safeguarding means keeping you safe from any type of harm or neglect.
All adults have a responsibility to protect you and it is the role of your parents or carers and adults such as teachers, learning mentors, doctors, nurses, social workers, police officers, faith leaders and sports coaches to ensure that you are safe. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, whether you are at home, school or are chatting online, you have the right to grow up safe from people hurting you or failing to ensure that you are cared for.
If you are worried about something that is happening to you or someone you know, you don’t have to deal with it on your own – visit the Childline website for advice www.childline.org.uk (Childline is not just for young children!)
According to the law, there are 4 main types of abuse that could cause harm or neglect. These are:
- Physical Abuse: when an adult deliberately hurts a child, such as hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning or suffocating.
- Emotional Abuse: this would happen, for example, when a child is being unfairly blamed for everything all the time; or told they are stupid and made to feel unhappy.
- Sexual Abuse: an example of sexual abuse would be where a child is forced to take part in sexual activities; or in taking rude photos.
- Neglect: this is when a child is not being looked after properly; for example, not getting enough to eat, or being left alone in dangerous situations.
More information about what abuse can look like and how to keep safe can be found below and on the NSPCC website www.nspcc.org.uk.
A great guide written by young people who have experienced abuse or neglect can be found on the SCIE website www.nice.org.uk
Advice about dealing with abuse
Child sexual exploitation (CSE)
Child trafficking is when children are taken away from their home or family and then sold to another grown up, forced to work or do something else they did not choose to do.
Children can be trafficked for:
- child sexual exploitation
- benefit fraud
- forced marriage
- domestic servitude such as cleaning, childcare, cooking
- forced labour in factories or agriculture
- criminal activity such as pickpocketing, begging, transporting drugs, working on cannabis arms, selling pirated DVDs, bag theft.
Many children are trafficked into the UK from abroad, but children can also be trafficked from one part of the UK to another.
Get more information about trafficking from the NSPCC.
Domestic violence & abuse
Domestic violence & abuse is when a grown-up threatens, bullies or hurts another adult in the family. Sometimes it’s called domestic violence and it can happen in any family. It can be very hard to deal with but remember that it is never your fault.
Get more information about domestic abuse from Childline
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Advice about keeping safe and well
Advocacy – someone to listen
The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) is a rights based charity for children, young people and adults.
NYAS offers a variety of services including:
- a national advocacy helpline
- advocacy for children in care and those in need – including children subject to child protection plans, care leavers, children and young people with disabilities
- support from independent visitors for children in care
- legal support for children in private family law.
Find out more on their young persons website
There is lots of help and advice about how to stay fit and healthy. The NHS has advice for teens on its website
For younger children see this Change 4 Life leaflet about how to eat well and move more.
Drugwatch have some great educational guides on children’s health – from newborn to preteen, you can take care of your wellbeing by knowing what to look out for.
Healthy relationships are all about respecting each other. You should feel loved, safe and free to be yourself. Visit the Disrespect Nobody website
Leaving care means that you are between 16 to 18 and have previously been in care, but are no longer legally ‘looked after’ by your Local Authority Children’s Services.
You don’t have to leave care when you’re 16. You can stay until you are 18, unless you feel ready to be more independent.
If you are in foster care, you can also request a ‘Staying Put Arrangement’ to remain in your foster home after you turn 18.
When you leave care Children’s Services still have a duty to support you until the age of 21, or 25 if you are in full time education or have a disability. You should receive the support of a Personal Adviser until you are 25.
Find out what your rights are and more on the Helping Hand website.
Manchester has lots of organisations who help children and young people with mental health problems.
42nd Street has been supporting young people experiencing difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing. They work with young people 11 – 25 living in Manchester.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are specialist NHS children and young people’s mental health services. Visit their website Young Minds for more information and advice.
Visit the ThinkUKnow website
to find the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology.
Find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it.
Most importantly, there’s also a place which anyone can use to REPORT if they feel uncomfortable or worried about someone they are chatting to online.
Private Fostering is when you live with an adult who is not
your mum, dad or a close relative, such as, your grandparents, aunt or uncle.
- It applies to children and young people under 16 (or up to 18 if you have disabilities).
- If you are going to live with, for example, a friend of your family, a more distant relative, a neighbour, someone in the community, or the parent of your boyfriend/girlfriend and you will be staying with them longer than 28 days – this is private fostering.
Ask an adult to tell Children’s Social Care about this.