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JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – March 2020

Topics for this month:

Coronavirus – How to protect your mental health and wellbeing

Coronavirus is dominating headlines around the world. While the media focus is on the impact on people’s physical health and what’s being done to prevent the spread of the disease; anxiety about the virus can be overlooked and can also have an impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Think about access to media and social media

Some people can be quite paralysed by this anxiety and may want to completely stop interacting with the news. But for others this can be quite difficult, they want to know what’s going on- not knowing makes it worse. You may want to think about where you are getting your information from. Are the reports sensationalising the situation and scaremongering? Or do you feel they are reporting responsibly and with balance?

  • Don’t ignore your anxiety: It is very normal to feel scared about something like this. Acknowledge that you feel this way and don’t ignore these feelings, as exploring why you feel this way can help – a counsellor can help you do this.
  • Do something you can control: It can help to express this anxiety in a way that you can control. That could be writing down what you feel, or keeping a journal.
  • Let it go: Once you’ve written it down, try and let it go. Allow yourself to worry, put it down in writing in a notebook, and then put that away.
  • Bring it back to the present: With anxiety, it’s often like you feel you are 10 steps ahead, so bring things back to the present.
  • Think about your thought process: Be really aware of what you’re thinking. Sometimes we are catastrophising, we are focusing on all these ‘what ifs?’ Bring things back to what you actually know. Reassure yourself, calm yourself.
  • Wellbeing check: Make sure you are looking after yourself, doing what you can to help get a good night’s sleep, eating well and doing exercise as it can help make us more robust against anxiety.
  • Self-management: It is important to make sure you are doing the usual self-management of your condition. Anxiety and the release of stress hormones can exacerbate physical symptoms. Anxiety links our brain and body. Make sure you are doing what you can to look after your physical health.
  • Breathing techniques and mindfulness: It is recommended to practice mindfulness or using breathing techniques to help you relax as these can be helpful in managing anxiety.

Coronavirus – Further ways to manage anxiety and stress

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations:

People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis can include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call

  • 911
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 0800-985-5990 or text Talk With Us to 66746. (0800-846-8517)

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

People with pre-existing mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.

Mind Charity recommends continuing to access nature/sunlight wherever possible. Exercise, eat well and stay hydrated. Anxiety UK suggests practising the “Apple” technique to deal with anxiety and worries:

  • Acknowledge: Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.
  • Pause: Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Pause and breathe.
  • Pull back: Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.
  • Let go: Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.
  • Explore: Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else – on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry, or do something else – mindfully with your full attention.

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Reduce stress in yourself and others. Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful. When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and anxious and allow you to connect with them.

Resources for learners, teachers and parents/carers

Khan Academy’s mission is to provide a free, world class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalised learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. They tackle mathematics, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.

You can sign up as a learner, teacher or parent/carer. There is support for parents when coaching their children. They have designed a step by step guide in order to help parents deal with the COVID-19 to be able to get set up, add their children onto the dashboard and progress with learning and activities.

A free hub of national safeguarding resources to empower children, young people and all adults supporting them.

Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers (

Live webcams in teaching and learning: Safeguarding issues to consider

  • Try to conduct group sessions over 1:1 sessions.
  • Please ensure that all sessions are recorded, whether they are group or 1:1 sessions for safeguarding purposes.
  • Staff and learners must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household.
  • Any computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and where possible be against a neutral background.
  • Live broadcasts should be kept to a reasonable length of time, or the streaming may prevent the family ‘getting on’ with their day
  • Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background

Online CPD training

Whilst most staff are working remotely, undertaking CPD can be useful during this time in order to continue personal development.

Virtual College offers a range of free resources including:

  • Introduction to Prevention Infection and Control
  • Understanding Young Minds
  • Get Moving and Get Healthy

The Mind Charity has a specific ‘Mental Health for Small Workplaces’ online training which focuses on 3 modules which include:

  • Building your awareness
  • Looking after yourself
  • Supporting each other

5 ways to take back control of your screen time

With the recent changes to working conditions that a lot of people are currently facing, it is likely that screen use is going to be on the rise. This may be due to work-related matters, a desire to keep up to date with the latest news or, as normal activities and routines have been disrupted. simply through boredom.

With the news that schools, colleges and universities are also shutting for most children and young people, an increase in screen use for these groups is also inevitable.

For young people there are positive aspects of screen time, like creating artwork, playing or watching problem solving and educational games/videos. These can all be stimulating for the brain and greatly beneficial for young people and their development.

What are the effects of screen time?

Multiple studies have shown shrinkage in the parts of our brain that are important for executive functions including: planning, processing, organising, completing tasks and impulse control.

The Facts on Screen time According to Ofcom (2019):

  • 63% of 12-15-year-olds think they achieve ‘a good balance between screen time and doing other things’
  • 71% of older children are allowed to take their phones to bed
  • 5-15-year olds now spend 20 mins more online than they do in front of a TV
  • 35% of young people are finding it more difficult to moderate their screen time, an increase from 27% last year

Like all things in life, moderation is key when it comes to screen time. Here are five ways you can support yourself and young people in your care to take back control of their screen time:

1. Take regular breaks

2. Keep active during the day

3. Know your time limits

4. Agree to screen free times and places, e.g. at meal times or reading a book instead

5. As an adult, be a role model and demonstrate appropriate screen use to children and young people in your care

Internet image removal service
The NSPCC (Childline) have a new reporting facility available so that under 18’s can report if an image or video of them has been shared online in order for it to be removed from the Internet. The report goes to the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) and so young people should be made aware of this.

More information can be found here:

Reliable sources, helplines and support 

There’s a huge amount of misleading information circulating online about coronavirus – from dodgy health tips to speculation about government plans.

The BBC have recently issued a blog about fake news and the impact it can have. They have included 3 questions that you should ask yourself before you share the information:

  1. Does the source of the information seem vague or seem to be from a friend of a friend you can’t trace? Get to the bottom of where the story came from – or don’t share it. Just because you were sent it by somebody you trust, doesn’t mean they received the information from someone they actually know.
  2. Does all of the information seem true? When there are long lists, it’s easy to believe everything in them just because one kernel of advice is correct – that might be the case.
  3. Does the content make you emotional – happy, angry or scared? Misinformation goes viral because it plays on our emotions, so that’s a sign that it might not be true. Again, dig a bit deeper. Scientific breakthroughs, prevention advice or public announcements will come from reputable sources.

See full article here:

Further helplines/websites:

Attached to this bulletin is a range of helplines listed on the NHS website.

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – February 2020

Topics for this month:

Guidance about the Coronavirus

Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Education (DfE) have published guidance for schools and other educational settings to assist in providing advice for pupils, students, staff and parents or carers about coronavirus COVID-19.

The guidance covers information such as:

  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • what to do if someone is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19

Please read the guidance in full and share it with learners and employers to raise awareness:

NHS ‘Eatwell’ guide

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

The Eatwell Guide shows that to have a healthy, balanced diet, people should try to:

  • eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
  • base your meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
  • have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
  • eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
  • choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
  • drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)
  • If you’re having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.

Try to choose a variety of different foods from the 5 main food groups to get a wide range of nutrients. Most people in the UK eat and drink too many calories, too much saturated fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.

Visit the NHS ‘Eatwell’ page for more information on food and diet, recipes and tips, as well as digestive health:

We have attached the Eatwell guide as a pdf, which highlights different food groups, portion sizes, calories etc.

NHS ‘Live well’: Exercise

NHS provides advice, tips and tools to help you make the best choices about your health and wellbeing and one of the areas that they focus on is exercise. NHS provides physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 who should do some type of physical activity every day. Any type of activity is good for us and the more we do the better.

Adults should:

  • aim to be physically active every day. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still
  • do strengthening activities that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on at least 2 days a week
  • do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week
  • reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity.

To achieve your weekly activity target, you can do the following:

  • several short sessions of very vigorous intensity activity
  • a mix of moderate, vigorous and very vigorous intensity activity
  • You can do your weekly target of physical activity on a single day or over 2 or more days. Whatever suits you.

Visit the NHS website where you can read information on:

  • exercise tips such as: safe exercising; weight loss tips; exercising with back pain
  • fitness guides
  • how much exercise depending on different ages
  • how to get involved in the ‘Couch to 5k’

TikTok – Safety controls

TikTok, a social video app that allows users to share short videos, is introducing a family safety mode designed to give parents tighter control over how their children use the app. The safety feature will allow parents and carers to link their account to their child’s and have direct control over the safety settings, including a “restricted mode” that tries to filter out inappropriate content, and turning off messaging.

That means the adult’s phone can now turn on and off the setting for:

  • restricted mode, an automatic filter, driven by an algorithm, which tries to hide content that may be inappropriate
  • messages, which can be limited so they can only be received from friends – or turned off completely
  • screen time controls, putting a hard limit on how long the app can be used each day

These safety features have been on the TikTok platform for some time, but needed to be set on the teenager’s phone manually, and locked behind a password that had to be reset every 30 days.

TikTok has an age limit of 13, but many pre-teens still use the app. A recent survey by UK media regulator Ofcom found that TikTok was used by 13% of all children aged 12-15 in 2019 which is up from 8% the year before.

Link to article:
We have also attached a ‘TikTok safety card’ for further information.

Ofcom – Children and parents: Media use and attitudes report 2019

This newly published report provides evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as about the media access and use of young children aged 3-4. It also includes findings on parents’ views about their children’s media use, and how they monitor and limit it.

Overview of findings of the report

Connected children

  • Half of ten-year-olds now own their own smartphone. Between the ages of nine and ten, smartphone ownership doubles – marking an important milestone in children’s digital independence as they prepare for secondary school.
  • Use of smart speakers among children aged 5-15 has doubled over the last year. This means that, for the first time, they’re more widely used than radios.
  • More children watch video-on-demand (VoD) than watch live broadcast TV. Viewing of VoD has doubled over the last five years. One in four children do not watch live broadcast TV at all.

Popular platforms and online activities

  • YouTube remains a firm favourite among children. 5- to 15-year-olds are more likely to pick YouTube as their platform of choice over on-demand services such as Netflix, or TV channels including the BBC and ITV.
  • Children’s social media use is diversifying. WhatsApp in particular has gained popularity over the past year, joining Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram as one of the top social media platforms used by children.
  • Newer platforms such as TikTok and Twitch are gaining popularity. TikTok is used by 13% of 12- to 15-year olds – up from 8% in 2018 – while Twitch is used by 5%.
  • Girl gamers are on the increase. Almost half of girls aged 5-15 now play games online – up from 39% in 2018.

Online engagement and participation

  • Rise of the ‘vlogger next door’. While high-profile YouTube stars remain popular, children are now increasingly drawn to influencers who are often local to their area, or who have a particular shared interest – known as ‘micro’ or ‘nano’ influencers.
  • Elements of children’s critical understanding have increased. Awareness of vlogger endorsement and how the BBC is funded have both increased; while understanding of how search engines (such as Google) work and the ability to recognise advertising on these sites are both unchanged since 2018.
  • The ‘Greta effect’ and online social activism. 2019 saw an increase in older children using social media to support causes or organisations, while one in ten signed an online petition of some sort.

Staying safe online

  • Children are seeing more hateful online content than they used to, and several children in our Media Lives research reported seeing violent and other disturbing content online. Half of 12- 15s say they have seen something hateful about a particular group of people in the last year – up from a third in 2016. Four in ten took some form of action, but the majority ignored it.
  • Parents are also increasingly concerned about their child seeing self-harm related content online and some elements of online gaming. Almost half of parents of 5-15s are concerned about their child seeing content which might encourage them to harm themselves, up from 39% in 2018. There have also been increases in the proportion of parents of 12-15s worried about ingame spending (from 40% to 47%) and game-related bullying (32% vs 39%).
  • Fewer parents feel that the benefits of their child being online outweigh the risks compared to five years ago. Just over half of parents of 5-15s feel this (55%), compared to two-thirds (65%) in 2015. However, there are indications that more parents are talking to their child about online safety (85% of parents of 5-15s), than compared to 2018 (81%).

7 Minute Briefings:

Teenagers and risk:

Do we accept risk in teenagers because of their age? How do you manage and assess this risk? Do you involve teens in their own risk assessments? Do you know the signs of exploitation? Self-harm? Emotional distress in teenagers? The THINK website (Teenage Health in Knowsley) has been designed to give young people a place to access, to find out where to go to get the support they need.

Risk taking is considered to be necessary for development, but teens do not judge risk well. Research shows that their brains are re-configuring, which can cause mental instability and increases vulnerability. To appreciate consequences of risky behaviour one has to have the ability to think through potential outcomes and understand the consequences.

Due to an immature prefrontal cortex, teens are not skilled at doing this. They do not take information, organise it and understand it in the same way that adults do – they have to learn how to do this. So it is vitally important teenagers showing risk indicators and are deemed at risk are monitored appropriately and given the right support and intervention.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on ‘Teenagers and risk’ from Knowsley Council.

Young carers:

Young carers are: children and young people under the age of 18 who provide regular and ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, frail elderly, disabled or misuses alcohol or substances:

  • 9% provide 50+ hours per week care
  • 11.3 % provide 20-39 hours per week care
  • 56.1% female (0-24s) with 61.2% of those undertaking 50 hrs or more care per week.

The impact of caring on children and young people is wide ranging and can include: feeling lonely and missing out on friendships; feeling frightened and isolated and feeling scared to tell anyone about their home circumstances. They may also be feeling excluded; (bullied and stigmatised, difficulty getting to school/College on time); feeling overwhelmed; tired; worried and stressed; ashamed and guilty; and feel they have high levels of responsibility with little support for them.

Where a young carer is a ‘child in need’ you can refer to the independent Young Carers’ service at Barnardo’s, or refer them to Children and Family Wellbeing Service.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on ‘Young carers’ from Lancashire Council.

Threshold of need and response:

The Thresholds of Need and Response Framework is a practical tool to:

  • enable practitioners to identify the levels of risk and needs of children and their families
  • to ensure that the children and their families access the appropriate level of support according to their changing circumstances; over four levels
  • Provide a common language for multi-agency professionals
  • Improve outcomes for families

Levels of need:

Level 1: Universal need, needs and risk and met by universal services

Level 2: Early Help, unmet needs and low risks met by single agency support and partnership working. Needs met through the Early Help Assessment and TAF process using an asset based solution focused model.

Level 3: Child in Need (CIN): this meets section 17 of the Children Act 1989, and is a higher levels of unmet needs and medium risk. A social worker will be involved and it requires a multi-agency co-ordinated response.

Level 4: Specialist assessment. High level of unmet complex needs – child may be ‘In Need’ or ‘at risk of significant harm’. Need intensive coordinated multi-agency support. If you have any concerns please contact the Safeguarding Team.
Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on ‘Threshold of need and response’ from Salford Children Safeguarding Board.

Safer Internet day 2020

What is ‘Safer Internet Day’?

Safer internet day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

The focus of Safer Internet Day 2020 is about empowering young people to explore identity online and opening up discussions about how the internet shapes the way that they think of themselves and others. It focuses on what creates our identity online – such as the things we share with each other, how others perceive us and interacts with us, as well as how online services use the information we share to identify and profile us.

How to get involved

Talk about safer internet day online using the hashtags #freetobe and #SaferInternetDay, as well as using fill the template with words that express who or what someone should be free to be online or you could include a picture of what a better internet could look like.

There are also education packs that can be downloaded for free off the UK safer internet centres website. The packs are customised for different age groups they contain some important information as well as some fun activities. More information can be found on their website Click here to see what packs are available
Click here to see what information is available for a parent or career

If you would like to support the day, you can register as a supporter and join 2000 organisations across the UK who deliver activities for Safer Internet Day each year.”

 You can also follow them on social media to keep up to date on what’s going on their account name can be found here @UK_SIC on TwitterInstagram and Facebook for all the latest news. You can also sign up for their newsletter to receive monthly news about safer internet day this includes the latest resources launches and more. 

What resources are available?

There are resources that focus on identity online that supports young people to consider whether they feel free to experiment and express themselves online, or if they feel limited in who they can be when they are online. By opening up conversations around identity online, young people can be inspired and empowered to support each other to be who they want to be, both online and offline.

There are also education packs that can be downloaded for free and in these packs are pre built activities that can be used in a lesson environment There are different packs that are available for different age groups.

There are also social media resources that can be downloaded for free and there are also some instructions on how to use the template.
Click here for the social media template

Some tips from us at JTM

For some more tips on how to stay safe on the internet why not check out one of our previous blog posts where you can find some more information on how safe your password is.
Click here to view this blog post

Boost your network security

When you’re on the move, you might have to use public Wi-Fi. The problem with public Wi-Fi is that it is often unsecured. This means it’s relatively easy for a hacker to access your device or information. That’s why you should consider investing in a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a piece of software that creates a secure connection over the internet, so you can safely connect from anywhere.

Protect your mobile life

Our mobile devices can be just as vulnerable to online threats as our laptops. Mobile devices face new risks, such as risky apps and dangerous links sent by text message. Be careful where you click, don’t respond to messages from strangers, and only download apps from official app stores after reading other users’ reviews first. Make sure that your security software is enabled on your mobile, just like your computers and other devices.

Don’t save financial information on shopping sites

Even sites with SSL certification can be hacked. While there may not be a way yet to completely safeguard your data from hackers if you shop online, you can secure your financial information better by removing it altogether from shopping sites. So spend the extra minute to enter your information each time you make a purchase.

Do you have antivirus installed?

This is one simple way to make sure you’re safe online. All you have to do is pay for and set up your antivirus and that’s it. Or if you’ve already got one installed, make sure it’s up to date. Updates often contain changes which help protect you are your devices from scammers and online criminals. (Most antivirus software can be configured to do this automatically). Also, Use a firewall,  it takes just moments for a non-fire walled computer to be infected so stay safe by installing one.

9 Myths about apprenticeships busted!

Apprenticeships have been around for quite a while now and they’re not just for the traditional trades anymore, but we still find the same myths and misconceptions around apprenticeships all the time. So we’ve taken 9 of the most common to set the record straight.

1. Apprenticeships are only available in manual industries

This might have been the case in the past but apprenticeships are now expanding in to different occupations such as fashion, law, education, and defence, so this shows that apprenticeships are not limited to manual industries there are now a variety of apprenticeships available.


2. An apprentice won’t lead to a full-time job

More than 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their course ends, with 67% remaining with the same employer. This shows that employers value apprentices and would like to keep them at their company because they have invested time and money in the apprentice, and they won’t want to lose on this investment.


3. Apprenticeships are only for school leavers 

Apprenticeships are available for all ages making them a great option for those wanting to change their career or wanting to improve their skills in a certain area whilst getting paid. Apprenticeships are also great for upskilling existing staff, for example the Level 5 Operations Departmental Manager is great for existing managerial staff to improve their knowledge.


4. Apprenticeships don’t lead to good qualifications

Learners can progress from intermediate apprenticeships, right up to higher and even degree apprenticeships, so this shows that there is a lot of room for progress. The new apprenticeship standards, which include independent assessors and an End-point assessment, guarantee the quality and validity of your skills and knowledge. On completion of your apprenticeship you will receive an industry recognised qualification, so you will be getting the best of both worlds. You will be getting an excellent qualification, whilst getting paid, and you won’t have to worry about tuition fees or paying back loans.


5. The mandatory 20% off-the-job training element means a day per week at a college

It is important that the apprentice is given enough time to receive off-the-job training and at JTM we are doing the training with a mixture of face-to-face visits and online. This is so there is very little disruption and the apprentice can be getting on with the work in the placement when they have free time and the assessor will come out to continue to develop their skills and knowledge.


6. “You’ll just be making tea and coffee”

Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to learn and earn at the same time, so this means your opinions and contributions are valued just as they would be with any other member of staff. You may be younger than your other colleagues but you won’t be running around the kitchen, you will be treated as a proper colleague with the support you need to develop your skills and excel.


7. I’ll be badly paid

The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £3.90 per hour, rising to £4.15 per hour from the first of April 2020, so this is the least that you will be paid. However, you can be paid more but this is up to the employer, and if you are aged 19 or over and have completed the first year of your apprenticeship you will be paid the National Minimum Wage which is £6.15. If you are unsure what you would be paid, then you can check the minimum wage for your age online.


8. Those who go to university are always better off

University isn’t always the best route into employment. Apprentices receive on-the-job training as well as earning a qualification that are needed to work in an industry so they will be ready to work once they have completed their apprenticeship.


9. Apprentices get stuck in the same sector for years

A great thing about apprenticeships is that there is a lot of room for progression and opportunity. You can move between levels in a subject area that complements your skills. For example, you could start doing a Customer Service apprenticeship and gain some transferable skills that could be used in a management apprenticeship and then this unlocks more advanced qualifications which can open up new job roles in different sectors.


JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – January 2020

Topics for this month:

Knife crime in the North West

An ITV news investigation reported this month, that an average of 17 serious crimes are committed with a knife, in the North West every single day. It is important that we are all aware of the risks of knife crime and we raise awareness of the issues.

The ‘Knife Free’ website is a very informative website that helps people to live knife free; provides suggestions on what people can be doing with their time; support available; and real case studies and stories from those who have been affected by knife crime, whether it was due to them carrying a knife themselves, or whether they have been a victim of knife crime.

Legal consequences:

  • Carrying a knife can mean 4 years in prison, even if it is not used
  • You can get a criminal record for carrying a knife
  • Carrying an offensive weapon, like a knife, is a serious offence and carrying it for self-protection is not a defence

Emotional consequences:

  • Carrying a knife doesn’t just have an impact on you; it can affect your family and friends too
  • No parent/grandparent would ever want to see their child injured, go to prison or be killed
  • It will also impact on your family such as brothers or sisters, if carrying a knife leads you to having serious injuries or losing your life

Personal consequences:

  • Carry a weapon and it could be used against you
  • Employers may be less likely to employ someone with a criminal record
  • Countries such as the USA and Canada may not allow someone with a criminal record in, even just on holiday

Other facts:

  • 99% of young people aged 10-29 do not carry a knife
  • People who carry a weapon are more likely to be hospitalised with an injury caused by violence
  • There is no ‘safe place’ to stab someone – any stab can be fatal – and the consequences will be just as severe

Join millions of young people who live #knifefree. Visit for more information. If you have been a victim of knife crime and would like support, please talk to JTM’s safeguarding lead, the safeguarding team, or visit ‘Victim Support’ who support children and young people who have been affected by crime:

County Lines

County Lines is a term used for organised illegal drug-dealing networks, usually controlled by a person using a single telephone number or ‘deal line’. They operate out of major UK cities such as London, Liverpool and Birmingham, and they distribute illegal drugs across rural and suburban counties via ‘runners’.

Vulnerable children and adults are recruited as runners to transport drugs and cash all over the country, so that the criminals behind it can remain detached and less likely to be detected. This crime is often associated with other serious crimes such as sexual exploitation, violence, money laundering and human trafficking.

There are several signs to look out for when someone has been lured into this activity; these include:

  • Change in behaviour
  • Signs of assault and/or malnutrition
  • Access to numerous phones
  • Use of unusual terms e.g. going country
  • Associating with gangs
  • Unexplained bus or train tickets
  • School truancy or going missing
  • Unexplained gifts (clothes, trainers) and cash

What happens?

Criminal gangs establish a base in a particular location, sometimes by taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion in a practice referred to as ‘cuckooing’. They then target vulnerable local children and adults to become involved in selling drugs through a process of grooming. Once someone is involved with a criminal gang, it becomes difficult for them to escape.

What’s ‘cuckooing’?

Criminals running County Lines will set up a base in a rural area or small town for a short time, taking over the home of a vulnerable person, ‘cuckooing’ them (named after the cuckoo’s practice of taking over other birds’ nests for its young).

Victims of ‘cuckooing’ are often drug users but can include older people, those suffering from mental or physical health problems, female sex workers, single mums and those living in poverty. Victims may suffer from other forms of addiction, such as alcoholism.

Some people may be forced to leave their homes, making themselves homeless and leaving the gangs free to sell drugs in their absence.

What are the signs of cuckooing?

Signs that cuckooing may be going on at a property include:

  • An increase in people entering and leaving
  • An increase in cars or bikes outside 
  • Possible increase in anti-social behaviour 
  • Increasing litter outside
  • Signs of drugs use
  • Lack of healthcare visitors
  • Suspicious vehicles or people at an address
  • A neighbour has not been seen for a while, or they are more distance than usual (with more visitors)
  • Short term or holiday lets – unusual activity
  • Older member of the community unexpectedly driving around unknown individuals

Resources: We have attached a JTM edited Home Office poster that is to be used by staff with learners and employers, in order to be aware of the signs of county lines and to know what reporting processes to follow. Click here for the county lines poster

Children’s Mental Health Week: 3rd – 9th February 2020

The theme of this years’ children’s mental health week is ‘Find your Brave’ which is run by the children’s mental health charity Place2Be. Life often throws challenges our way. Bravery isn’t about coping alone or holding things in, it’s about finding positive ways to deal with things that might be difficult, overcoming physical and mental challenges and looking after yourself.

We have attached resources to help raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing, as well as helpful top tips for parents and carers. Click here to view these resources
Click here to view information on metal health and well being

Safer Internet Day: 11th February 2020

Safer Internet Day aims to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.  Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet. 

The UK Safer Internet Centre are a partnership of three leading organisations: Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and SWGfL, with one mission – to promote the safe and responsible use of technology for young people. In 2019, Safer Internet Day reached 46% of young people aged 8-17 and 26% of parents and UK Safer Internet Centre invite everyone to join them, and Safer Internet Day supporters across the globe, to help create a better internet on Tuesday 11th February 2020 and throughout the whole year. 

JTM will be registering as a supporter of Safer Internet Day and will be spreading the word across our social media on the day. Please keep a look out on our Blog for very interesting information produced by Sean, our Digital Marketing Apprentice, which will be published on the day!


The streaming service has made changes to its site to protect children after the company was fined almost $200 million for breaking the Childhood Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), laws which protect children online. As part of the new measures, targeted ads will be banned from children’s videos as well as push notifications and comments.

The video sharing service said these changes will have a “significant business impact” on creators who make videos for children because they will no longer be making any money from targeted adverts. It is feared that could mean some popular YouTubers might decide to stop making child-friendly content. However, the company says it will increase promotion for its app YouTube Kids, which filters out content that isn’t suitable for children. The app was launched by YouTube in 2015 and removes many of the features that are available on the main site.

Anyone watching a video that’s been specifically made for children will now be protected as a viewer under the age of 13, despite their actual age. In March 2019 the site announced it would be switching off comments on almost all videos featuring under-18s, in an attempt to “better protect children and families”.

Several brands have stopped advertising on YouTube after discovering inappropriate or upsetting comments were being made on some videos.

Fake News:

How can fake news impact children and young people?

  • It can lead children and young people to believe something about the world that can have a negative impact on their wellbeing
  • Fake news sometimes may target minority groups and spread hate which can have real world consequences
  • It can cause children to be confused about what they see online and anxious about being misled to believe something that isn’t true

Internet matters have produced a fake news, facts and questions guide, providing the information that parents need to know when talking to children and young people.

It can be downloaded from:

7 minute Briefings:

Hate Crime: is defined as; any hate incident which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hostility.” In most crimes, it is something the victim has in their possession or control that motivates the offender to commit the crime. With hate crime it is ‘who’ the victim is, or ‘what’ the victim appears to be that motivates the offender to commit the crime. A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on hate crime from Lancashire Constabulary.

Domestic Abuse: is defined as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence. In the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common and in the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Financial or economic abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online or digital abuse

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on domestic abuse from the Salford Safeguarding Children Board.

Online Radicalisation: refers to the process by which an individual is groomed through the online environment to come to support terrorist or extremist ideologies. It is important to consider extremism in the context of the wider spectrum which could include far-right, environmental, Islamist or animal-rights extremism.

Online material used in the process may include articles, images, speeches or videos that promote terrorism or encourage violence. As with other forms of grooming, extremists will seek to exploit vulnerabilities in individuals that may include: unmet aspirations, identity crisis, perceived injustice/s or a sense of belonging in order to further their ideological aims.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on online radicalisation from Lancashire Safeguarding Boards.

‘Level of Need’ guidance: Understanding levels of need and how they relate to the support of identified needs is vital to providing a solid, integrated intervention that will help children and young people achieve to their full potential.

As the needs of children and young children change we must provide ‘the right intervention and help at the right time’. A smooth transition through the continuum is essential to support their journey from needing, to receiving the help and support they require. It is vital that children, young people and their families receive the support they need regardless of where they live or how accessible services are to them.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on ‘level of need’ guidance from the Sefton Safeguarding Children Board.

Saf3net Training

Janine and Tom recently attended training focusing on online radicalisation. Please see attached useful information from the training.

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – December 2019

Topics for this month:

Put security at the top of your festive list

The festive period is a busy one. There are more events, more mail and deliveries, and more crowded places. Ensure you have festive vigilance – we all have a role to play. We have attached a poster to our bulletin and we ask that you share this with family, friends, employers, learners and parents/carers, so that everyone knows how to keep themselves safe during the festive holidays. Click here for the ACT poster

Counter Terrorism Policing – security advice

With the enduring terrorist threat and the most recent London Bridge Terrorist attack that took place on Friday 29th November 2019, it is now more important than ever that everyone plays their part in tackling terrorism. Your actions could save lives. That’s why Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) is encouraging communities across the country to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting suspicious behaviour and activity.

Like other criminals, terrorists need to plan. If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence at or, in an emergency, dial 999.

Within Counter Terrorism Policing, they work around the clock to Prevent the threat of extremism and terrorism. They also work to Pursue active terrorist threats and stopping those who seek to do us harm.

Some examples of suspicious activity or behaviour could potentially include:

  • Hiring large vehicles or similar for no obvious reasons
  • Buying or storing a large amount of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reasons
  • Taking notes or photos of security arrangements, or inspecting CCTV cameras in an unusual way
  • Looking at extremist material, including on the so-called Dark Web, or sharing and creating content that promotes or glorifies terrorism.
  • Someone receiving deliveries for unusual items bought online.
  • Embracing or actively promoting hateful ideas or an extremist ideology.
  • Possessing firearms or other weapons or showing an interest in obtaining them
  • Holding passports or other documents in different names, for no obvious reasons
  • Anyone who goes away travelling for long periods of time but is vague about where
  • Someone carrying out suspicious or unusual bank transactions

You are not wasting anyone’s time, and no call or click will be ignored. What you tell the Counter Terrorism Unit is treated in the strictest confidence and is thoroughly researched by experienced officers before, and if, any police action is taken. Any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe and report it. Visit and remember, trust your instincts and ACT.

Click here to access resources on advice and support following a terrorist attack

Tips on how to talk to children about terrorism (NSPCC)
As media coverage of the most recent London Bridge terrorist attack once again demonstrates, the ongoing reporting following such incidents pervades news and social media coverage. New NSPCC tips and advice are now available if you are concerned about how a child is feeling following such events. The charity also has a supporting video on how to talk to children about terrorism, which may be useful to parents and carers.

Please visit the following links for support and guidance. We have also attached a leaflet from the Mental Health Foundation which includes 10 steps you can take when talking to children about scary world news.

Advice on how to cope with stress following a major incident (NHS)

If you have been involved in, or affected by, a traumatic incident, the guidance attached includes information on how you may expect to feel in the days and months ahead, and to help you understand and have more control over your experience.

Click here for the NHS Trauma Leaflet

7 Minute Briefings

We have attached five, 7 minute briefings to this months’ bulletin from Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley Safeguarding Boards, which focus on:

New law changes on safeguarding and drones

For anyone considering buying a drone or model aircraft as a Christmas present, there are some legal considerations to be made before doing so. From Saturday 30th November 2019, new laws came into force about the use of drones. Anyone responsible for a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to register as an operator. The cost for this will be £9 renewable annually.

Anyone flying a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to take and pass an online education package. This is free and renewable every three years. Drones must also be clearly marked with its registration number, which should be large enough to be seen from the ground.

Although there is no legal limit, safe flying is regarded as under 400ft. Drone users should not fly where there are dangers (for example, airfields), hazards (e.g. motorways) or areas where there may be privacy risks (for example, schools). The drone code of conduct says that pilots should stay at least 150m from built-up and busy areas, including schools. They should also be in sight of their drone at all times, so it may be possible to identify who is flying it.

As a general rule, unless the drone pilot has permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), they should not be flying a camera-equipped unmanned aircraft (drone) within 150m of a ‘congested area’, which includes schools and nurseries. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recommends that drones with cameras should be operated in a responsible way that respects the privacy of others, as their use may be covered by the Data Protection Act.

The ICO website has tips on responsible use of drones:

  • Let people know before you start recording
  • Consider your surroundings
  • Get to know your camera first
  • Plan your flight
  • Keep you and your drone in view
  • Think before sharing
  • Keep the images safe

More ICO guidance can be found here:

Information about the drone test can be found here: and the ‘Drone Code’ poster can be viewed here:

Film and photography at the school Christmas play

At this time of year, many schools and nurseries will be hosting nativity plays. The perennial question of whether filming and photography be allowed during the play or performance is one that always comes up, and is one posed for both school/nursery staff and parents to consider. Education law barrister Robin Jacobs, from Sinclairs Law, gives his advice for developing a lawful approach to filming and photography at school plays.

Key areas to consider are:

  1. Challenge legal myths
  2. Lay down the rules
  3. Manage the event
  4. Identify vulnerable pupils
  5. Consider filming it yourself
  6. Identify non-safeguarding issues

Read the full article here:

WhatsApp privacy – Group messages

One of the big complaints that comes from users of WhatsApp, is being added to a new group chat and then being inundated with hundreds of messages; in more vulnerable people, this may lead to anxiety as a result of unwanted messages being received. WhatsApp has just been updated with a number of new features, one of which is a privacy upgrade which will stop you being pulled into group chats you don’t want to be part of.

This is accessed via Settings>Account>Privacy>Groups, and you can then select whether anyone can add you to a new group, just contacts or even just certain contacts.

YouTube set to overhaul children’s content – January 2020

This coming January, YouTube is set to make changes that will overhaul how children experience content on the platform. The move comes after YouTube and Google were fined $170 million this year after YouTube channels were found to be collecting children’s personal data without parental consent, which was then used to target personalised advertisements.

The changes set to take effect mean that:

  • Creators will have to tell YouTube if content is made for children.
  • The platform will stop using targeted ads on content made for children (but they will still see ‘non-personalised’ ads).
  • The comments feature will be removed from children’s content.
  • Creators who are found to avoid categorising their content correctly may face consequences.

Creators on the platform use personalised ads to monetise their content, where they can earn money by collecting revenue from ads. YouTube will use ‘machine learning’ to identify videos that target children and young people, which include those that feature:

  • Children and or characters known to or targeted at children.
  • Popular Children’s shows or animations.
  • Play acting, or stories that use or include children’s toys.
  • Children’s music, songs, stories and or poems.

This move by YouTube is a positive step in improving the digital environment where young people play, learn and socialise. In any case, enabling Safe Search filters on YouTube is an extra step that parents and carers can take to help keep children and young people safer on the platform.

Kindness Calendar – December 2019

Action for Happiness have produced a ‘Kindness Calendar’ for December 2019 as they are encouraging individuals to spread a bit more kindness in the world. We have attached it to our bulletin if you would like to take part. Click here for the Kindness Calendar

We hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas.

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – November 2019

Topics for this month:

22,000 young people face homelessness in England, this Christmas

A new report by the youth homeless charity Centrepoint has revealed the extent of the issue of homelessness facing 16- to 25-year-olds this winter. The charity sent Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to all 326 councils in England asking how many 16- to 25-year-olds had presented as homeless or were at risk of becoming homeless last winter. A total of 248 councils responded and some of the statistics are shown below:

  • 37% had stayed in an abusive home with a parent or guardian;
  • 46% stayed in an overcrowded property because they had nowhere else to stay;
  • 33% of young people spent a night in a park because they had nowhere else to stay;
  • 27% had spent a night in a tent;
  • 7% of young people had spent the night in a public toilet.

CentrePoint ask young people ‘Don’t be afraid to ask and to know your options before your options run out’. CentrePoint listen, advise and connect young people to the right services and support young people affected by homelessness not just over Christmas, but throughout the entire year. CentrePoint offer a warm bed and a safe place for over 1500 vulnerable young people every single night, alongside support for education, employment and training.

To read the full report and access the contact information please visit:

CentrePoint website:

The Whitechapel Centre – Christmas Donations from JTM Staff

This year staff at JTM have decided that we will not be handing out Christmas cards, but rather spend the money by donating to the Whitechapel centre instead.

The Whitechapel Centre is the leading homeless and housing charity for the Liverpool region. They work with people who are sleeping rough, living in hostels or struggling to manage their accommodation and they are committed to helping people find and maintain a home, and learn the life skills essential for independent living. The Whitechapel Centre is open 365 days a year providing services to rough sleepers, people living in temporary accommodation and those at risk of becoming homeless. Last year, they worked with 4,025 people to end or prevent their homelessness.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact Tom Sumnall on 0151 336 9340.  To find out more about the Whitechapel centre, please visit:

Getting help in the holidays – cards
We have attached small helpline cards to this bulletin, which have helpline numbers for Young Minds Crisis helpline, ChildLine and the police, so that learners’ can get help if they’re struggling with their mental health during the Christmas holidays.

Click here for the crisis cards

Contextual Safeguarding

Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. It recognises that the different relationships that young people form in their neighbourhoods, schools/educational settings and online can feature violence and abuse.

Therefore, when young people are exposed to violence or exploitation in their training provider, school, community or peer group, this may fracture their family relationships and undermine the capacity of their parents or carers to keep them safe. It is really important to identify and explore all factors, situations and relationships surrounding that young person to help keep them safe if they are vulnerable, being abused or at risk of being harmed. 

We have attached more information on contextual safeguarding to this bulletin. Click here for more on contextual information

7 Minute Briefings

Seven minute briefings are based on a technique borrowed from the FBI. It is based on research, which suggests that seven minutes is an ideal time span to concentrate and learn. Learning for seven minutes is manageable in most services, and learning is more memorable as it is simple and not clouded by other issues and pressures. Local authorities and safeguarding boards are using 7 minute briefings to inform individuals on local and real issues to raise awareness and support.

We have attached three, 7 minute briefings from Lancashire Safeguarding Board, which focus on:

Increase in modern slavery in Birmingham soars

New statistics published by the Home Office show that the number of modern slavery cases has continued to remain at an alarmingly high level across the West Midlands this year. Of the 293 cases of suspected modern slavery taken place, around 70% of cases involved children. Across the UK, 2019 has seen a dramatic rise in modern slavery cases and the number of potential victims referred in the first three quarters of 2019 has already surpassed the 2018 total.

Shockingly, the figures for the most recent quarter also included 3 cases where people were referred after potentially having their organs harvested. The Home Office suggest that a rise in county lines criminal activity is behind the increase in young people being exploited for their labour.

The National Crime Agency lead the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime. NCA officers work at the forefront of law enforcement, building the best possible intelligence picture of serious and organised crime threats.

If you have any safeguarding concerns, please contact JTM’s Safeguarding Team immediately.

NHS Safeguarding App

The NHS Safeguarding app continues to support frontline staff and citizens with 24-hour, mobile access to up to date safeguarding guidance and local contacts to report safeguarding concerns.

It is accessed by over 300 users daily and has had over 61,000 downloads.

It provides an overview of necessary legislation and guidance covering both children and adults safeguarding as well as an NHS staff guide and contains regional contact information on how to report a safeguarding concern, as well as links to national bodies and for healthcare staff to have a one stop sign posting and safeguarding information.

It can be accessed via Apple iOS, Google Play or it can be downloaded by visiting your device’s appropriate app store and searching for ‘NHS Safeguarding’.

30 years of the internet

30 years ago children had to knock on their friend’s door or call on their landline to ask if they wanted to go out to play. They watched films on VHS, recorded programmes off the TV, and listened to music on cassettes. They had to go to the shops to buy a new game, or the local library to get a book. 30 years on, with the development of the World Wide Web and new technologies, childhood – and adult life too – have been transformed. We can now do virtually everything and anything at a much faster pace, with infinite information just a couple of clicks away.

Children born after the digital revolution do not know any other way. The internet has radically changed the way we learn, play and communicate. It provides incredible new opportunities, from connecting with people across the world, to creating and sharing your own content, to accessing different careers. But alongside this have come new harms including cyberbullying, online grooming and exposure to indecent content.

1989 was a landmark year for children, with the establishment of the Children Act and the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). For the first time, the Act provided a legislative framework for protecting vulnerable children – and it’s the basis of the laws and practices we still have today. Over 30 years our laws and systems have evolved to cover different groups of children and better meet their needs. However, we have not managed to keep pace with technological change and respond effectively to the challenges and risks it creates. So, the question is: does the Children Act 1989, and the system it underpins, sufficiently protect children growing up in today’s world? And will it be able to protect them in 30 years’ time when they’ve moved from instant messages and video chat to holograms and robots?

Barnardo’s, the UK’s oldest and largest charity, have produced a short, informative eight-page report called Generation Digital, that considers the impact of digital technology on childhood when addressing the key principles in the Children Act 1989:

  • Children’s welfare
  • Education
  • Parental Responsibility
  • Listening to the voice of the child

The report can be viewed here;

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – October 2019

Topics for this month:

Far Right logo stickers

We have been informed NW Regional Prevent Co-ordinator that Generation Identity and other right-wing groups have been placing stickers with their logos in around Liverpool city centre and at the Hugh Baird College campus in Bootle. If you see anything similar in the area, we have been asked to provide photographic evidence, plus details of the location and time and date. This information can be forwarded on to the JTM’s Safeguarding Team and we will ensure it is forwarded on to the relevant authorities.

Click here for the Far Right logo poster

Please look at the stickers on the attached document to familiarise yourself on what has been identified locally.

Teenage bank accounts being targeted for money laundering

Recently more and more safeguarding officials have spoken about how teenagers with bank accounts have been targeted by criminals to help them launder money. The money gathered by drug dealing and other crimes is given to a young person to put into their bank account and transfer it into another account, keeping a proportion themselves. These unwitting victims are known as a money mule.

Social media is used to recruit the youngsters with promises of ‘easy money’ working ‘from home’. The number of cases of 14 to 18-year-olds who have allowed their bank accounts to be used to divert funds has grown by 73% over the last two years to nearly 6,000 cases. Getting involving in this fraud can lead to a jail sentence of up to 14 years and lead to problems with banking in the future.

A website have been launched to raise awareness of this fraud by UK Finance, a partnership of banks and Cifas, a not-for-profit fraud prevention organisation.

Top Tips from Action Fraud
1. Keep control. Don’t give away any of your bank account details, unless you know and trust the person receiving them – and never let anyone else access your account. Alarmingly, nearly one in seven (14 per cent) over 18 – 25s have shared their PIN with someone else.
2. Money for nothing? Be cautious of unsolicited offers of easy money as this is a common tactic used by criminals to recruit money mules.
3. Tell someone you trust. Whether it’s a parent, teacher or friend, make sure you tell someone you trust about any concerns you might have.
4. Take time to think. Remember that letting someone else use your bank account is a potentially serious crime which could damage your financial future – is it worth it?
5. Too good to be true? Remember the simple rule of thumb about offers of easy money: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Explainer Video:

Don’t be Fooled website:

FGM and Breast ironing
(Female Genital Mutilation) is a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls. FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs, for non-medical reasons. It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways.

FGM prevalence in England and Wales:

  • In 2015, approximately 60,000 girls aged 0-14 were born to mothers who had undergone FGM.
  • Approximately 103,000 women aged 15-49 and approximately 24,000 women aged 50 and over who have migrated to England and Wales are living with the consequences of FGM.
  • It is illegal to carry out FGM in the UK and the Female Genital Mutilation Act was brought into force in 2003. The law in England and Wales was strengthened in 2015 to provide for new measures, including FGM protection orders and a mandatory reporting duty.

What is breast ironing?

Breast Ironing is practiced in some African countries, notably Cameroon. Girls aged between 9 and 15 have hot pestles, stones or other implements rubbed on their developing breast to stop them growing further. In the vast majority of cases breast ironing is carried out by mothers or grandmothers and the men in the family are unaware. Estimates range between 25% and 50% of girls in Cameroon are affected by breast ironing, affecting up to 3.8 million women across Africa.

Breast Ironing in the UK

Concerns have been raised that breast ironing is also to be found amongst African communities in the UK, with as many as a 1,000 girls at risk.

Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) mentions breast ironing from page 83, as part of the section on so-called ‘Honour Based Violence’.

Please read the attached document that gives you more information on FGM and Breast ironing. Click here for more information

Big White Wall free online support forum and counselling service

Big white wall is an online mental health and wellbeing service that provides 24/7 online peer and professional support with trained counsellors. The service also provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings and learn how to improve and self-manage your mental health and wellbeing.

Big white wall is totally anonymous, so no one will know you have chosen to use it unless you tell them. More than three quarters of members feel better as a result of using the service. You can get support via the service at any time of the day or night, seven days a week, 365 days a year. To find out more please visit the link:

BBC ‘own it’ app

The BBC have launched a new app for young people called OwnIt. The app monitors how young people interact with others online and uses artificial intelligence to evaluate the mood of the child so it can offer advice. For example if the child types ‘you’re really stupid’, the app will alert the sender and ask if they really want to send it. It does a lot more and definitely worth a look. For more information see here:

‘What3Words’ app

What3Words is a relatively new free app available for smart phones that is being recognised by the emergency services as a fast and reliable way to accurately pinpoint the location of someone that may be requiring assistance. The developers behind the app have assigned each 3m square in the world, a unique 3 word address, that will never change. 3 word addresses are easy to say and share, and are as accurate as GPS coordinates. Whereas a postcode may cover 20 properties, a 3 word address will cover a specific 3 x 3 metre location.

For example field.meanwhile.cycles marks the precise location of the JTM office in Speke, whilst scrapping.parading.revamped gives a specific 3 metre squared location in the staff carpark.

One example of how the app is used is when individuals go to festivals and use the location on the app to remember the exact location where their tent is. We think the app is definitely something that should be shared to help learners keep themselves safe.

How do I use what3words in an emergency?

  1. Find the 3 word address for your current location on the free what3words app for iOS and Android. It works offline – ideal for areas with unreliable data connection.
  2. Share your 3 word address over the phone to the call handler.
  3. The emergency service can then coordinate a response directly to the exact location where help is needed.

More details can be found here about how the app can be used by emergency services to help pinpoint a precise location:

As of 17/10/19, 73 emergency services have confirmed they are using and accepting 3 word addresses when assisting people in need of help.

Swiggle – child friendly search engine

For use at home and in school, Swiggle is a child-friendly search engine developed by South West Grid for Learning and built on the Google Safe Search technology. It is free, ad free, has a reporting page for children and adults, active blocking of inappropriate search strings and even a Swigglebot to give advice. For more information go to the link below and look at the menu (top right of page)

Live Streaming – advice for parents/carers

The popularity of live streaming is ever increasing and while it can be fun, exciting and provide opportunities for children, there are also risks to be aware of, some of which are detailed below.

As streams are unmoderated, children and young people may access and view inappropriate content either accidentally or on purpose. Often children and young people are unsupervised when live streaming, such as alone in private spaces like their bedroom or bathroom: 96% of live streamed abuse investigated by the Internet Watch Foundation showed a child on their own, in a home environment.

There could be hundreds (potentially thousands) of people watching a live stream at any time, including people who are looking to offend against children and young people. Offenders can then move a child from a public live stream to a private one. The opportunities and risks can be read about in much greater detail here:

In an effort to get parents engaged in their child’s online activity, the CEOP Education organisation have produced a short guide to live streaming. The guide ( explains:

  • What live streaming is and why it’s so popular
  • What makes it risky for young people
  • How they can help their child stay safe while live streaming

Test your password!

‘How secure is my password’ is a website where you can check how quickly ‘hackers’ would take to guess your password. The top ten passwords people use are:

  • 123456
  • Password
  • 123456789
  • 12345678
  • 12345
  • 111111
  • 1234567
  • Sunshine
  • Qwerty
  • Iloveyou

(Source: Digital Trends

According to ‘How secure is my password’ all these passwords can be guessed ‘instantly’. One easy way to strengthen a password is to make it longer, and add at least one special character like ! or ?. Simply adding an ! to sunshine in the above list would now take 2 hours to crack, two exclamation marks would take 4 days. By adding the name of the site you’re on, you could strengthen your password so it would need 143 trillion years to crack.

For example:
sunshine – could be hacked instantly
sunshine! – would take 2 hours to hack
sunshine!! – would take 4 days to hack
sunshine!!sainsburys – would take 143 TRILLION YEARS to hack!!

You can test how secure your password is by visiting:

Training and Resources


Virtual College have a free online training course that focuses on recognising and preventing FGM for staff CPD:

Silvercloud free online self-help modules

Silvercloud has a series of online self-help modules that you can complete for free. The programme of modules are based on cognitive behavioural therapy which provide various tools and techniques to help manage stress, anxiety and depression and bring balance into your life.  Once registered, you work through a series of topics chosen by your Therapist at your own pace, when it suits you. The Therapist will check in with you about once every two weeks to review your progress.

The course of modules feature videos, activities, quizzes, audio guides and your own online journal. The service is available for young people from 16 years old to adults. To find out more please visit the link:

Domestic Abuse

The team recently attended training on Domestic Violence and the impact it has on children aged 11-18 years. The training was extremely informative and so we have put together a training sheet with information and tasks that you can use with your learners – please see attached document and do not hesitate to speak to one of the team if you require further information or guidance.

Click here for the training sheet

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – September 2019

Topics for this month:

‘Run, Hide, Tell’ – Counter Terrorism Police

Counter Terrorism Police are asking for the support to remind learners to remember three words that could save their life. Youngsters are being asked to read Run, Hide, Tell advice, which explains what to do in the event of a firearms or weapons attack. There is no specific intelligence to show that providers, colleges, universities etc. are being targeted, and the chances of being caught up in a terrorist incident or weapons attacks are extremely low. But sadly, we have seen lethal assaults can be carried out anywhere.

The police message is simple:

If anyone gets caught up in a firearms or weapons attack, police advice is:

Run to a place of safety. This is a far better option than to surrender or negotiate. If there is nowhere to go then…
Hide, it’s better than to confront. Remember to turn your phone to silent and turn off vibrate. Barricade yourself in if you can. Then finally, and only when it is safe to do so…
Tell the police by calling 999.

Click here for the run hide tell leaflet

County Lines – Police Mapping Data

The BBC reports that police data shows drug crimes in England and Wales have fallen by more than 50,000 in the past five years. However, the national averages hide a major shift in where drug crimes are being committed. London, the West Midlands and Liverpool are the biggest exporters of county lines drug crime, according to NCA analysis, with increasingly diverse areas targeted by the gangs, from large towns to rural communities.

In London, 30 out of 36 areas saw either a decrease or no significant change in recorded drug crime over the past five years. Moving outside of the capital, in the South East and East of England, there were 74 small towns and villages that bucked the trend and saw increases in drug crime. In Liverpool drug crime has fallen by nearly 20%, but 15 miles away in Chester it increased by 40%.

The push from drug gangs to find new markets within easy commuting distance of their home cities where competition for market share may be lower than in their base is sometimes called county lines. Click on the interactive map to show which areas are being targeted by county lines operations:

Social Media – A guide for staff who are working with young people

Childnet International, UK Safer Internet Centre and School Improvement Liverpool have produced an essential guide for all staff members to consider when using social media and protecting their own professional reputations.  As of September 2019, 202 educational staff working with young people have received Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) Prohibition Orders for the misuse of social media/technology in the last 3 years. Please find the guide attached to this email and share it with relevant staff to understand what not to do when working with young people.

Click here for more information

New Guidance

New guidance has been issued in September 2019 which includes:

  • Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education – All staff, irrespective of their roles, must read, understand and be aware of their roles and responsibilities and the duty of care that they have, when working with children and young people. Part 1 (attached) outlines this information.

The guidance is attached for your information.

Click here for more information on safeguarding in the early years

Click here for more information on keeping children safe in education

ChildLine – ‘online and on the phone anytime’

ChildLine is a counselling service provided by the NSPCC for children and young people up to their 19th birthday in the United Kingdom. ChildLine deals with any issue which causes distress or concern, common issues dealt with include child abuse, bullying, mental illness, parental separation or divorce, teenage pregnancy, substance misuse, neglect, and psychological abuse.

There is a toolbox on the ChildLine website which has resources available for children and young people to use, as well as games, videos, an art box and message boards – were users can log in and track how they are feeling with a journal. The information given is between the user and a ChildLine Counsellor who will then offer the right support and advice that may help. On occasions depending on an individual’s safety and situation, ChildLine may have to share information with the Police and Social Services to best protect each young person.

You can talk to ChildLine about anything, no problem is too big or too small. Over half of all mental ill health starts by age 14 and 75% develops by age 18.

Call free on 0800 1111 or get in touch online. Whatever the worry, it is better out than in, ChildLine are there to support you and help you find ways to cope.

World Mental Health Day – 10th October 2019

World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for all of us to raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate against social stigma. Our mental health is just like our physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it. Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The theme of this year’s event is suicide and suicide prevention. Every year close to 800,000 people globally take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. It’s the leading cause of death among young people aged 20-34 years in the UK and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally. The suicide rate for young females is now at its highest rate on record and in the UK, men are three times more likely to take their own lives.

There are a number of charities and organisations that are there to listen and to help anyone who is suffering from ill mental health and need support, such as:

You can call for free on 116 123 to speak to a Samarian, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You don’t have to feel suicidal to get in touch as 1 in 5 people who contact Samaritans feel suicidal. If you feel like you are struggling to cope and if you feel any of the following, contact the Samaritans and speak to someone who can help, even if what you are feeling is not on the list below.

Signs to look out for:

  • Lacking energy or feeling tired
  • Feeling exhausted all the time
  • Experiencing ‘brain fog’, find it hard to think clearly
  • Finding it hard to concentrate
  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Feeling tearful, wanting to cry all the time
  • Not wanting to talk to or be with people
  • Not wanting to do things you usually enjoy
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings
  • Finding it hard to cope with everyday things and tasks
  • Experiencing ‘burn out’

Mind provides information on a range of topics including:

  • types of mental health problems
  • where to get help
  • medication and alternative treatments
  • advocacy

and will look for details of help and support in the person’s own area.

Contact details:

Call on: 0300 123 3393 between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)

Text on: 86463


Papyrus is a national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. You can contact Papyrus if you feel suicidal or if you are worried about someone else by contacting HOPELINEUK:

Call: 0800 068 4141

Text: 07786209697


Opening hours:

Monday – Friday: 9am – 10pm

Weekends: 2pm – 10pm

Bank Holidays: 2pm – 10pm

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – August 2019

Topics for this month:

E-Safety in Social Media Apps

With the school holidays now in full flow, young people may find themselves more engaged with social media and discovering new apps that are appearing on the market. Liverpool Safeguarding Children’s Partnership maintain a library of apps that children and young people may come into contact with. It is not a list of ‘dangerous’, ‘bad’ or ‘apps to avoid’, but contains details of apps and websites that been encountered within exploitation investigations or through research that have been used by victims and offenders.

LSCP have shared this library with us which currently details 207 apps and it can be viewed here:

A safety alert has also been issued over the rise in popularity of a new app called Likee. Likee is a short video creation platform where users can be creative, share videos, add music, and use filters. The app uses levels to encourage users to earn more XP (experience points), which are earned by opening Likee every day, watching/posting videos, fan growth and sending/receiving gifts.

The risks associated with this type of app include:

  • There are no age restrictions when signing up to the app.
  • The app can feature inappropriate content, including suggestive language & violence.
  • You CANNOT make an account private. 
  • In the safety settings ‘hide location’ & ‘hide my videos in nearby’ are automatically set to public by default.
  • Likee has substandard reporting functions – Users can report videos but there is no function to report a live stream or another user.
  • There’s scope for grooming, coercion and abuse through its gifting feature.
  • As per other live streaming/video platforms, viewers can manipulate the actions of users by gifting.

The general guidance for parents, carers and those working with young people around social media apps are:

  • Have open and honest conversations with children and young people in your care about not sharing personal information online.
  • Check that young people know how to turn off location settings and configure safety settings on the apps they use.
  • Check that they only engage with other people they know online.
  • Check that they understand what they should do if they see something online that upsets or worries them.
  • If you are concerned about an app your child is using, download it and use it yourself, or use it together to get a feel for it.

Help keep parents engaged in online safety over the summer – THINKUKNOW resources and information

Gaming – What parents need to know:

Many children and young people will be spending time gaming over the summer holidays. This article explores the different elements of gaming with a particular focus on how it can be used by offenders, but focusing on what parents can do to support their child while gaming.

Click here for more information

Sharing pictures of your child online:

For many children online life begins before birth, when their excited parents-to-be post ultrasound images on social media.  A recent report by Ofcom stated that 42% of parents share photos of their children online, with half of these parents posting photos at least once a month. Lots of parents love sharing photos of their children with friends and family, particularly when they are on holiday or starting a new school year. 42% of young people reported that their parents had done this without asking for their permission.

The article below helps parents to protect their child while staying social.

Click here for more information

Keeping your under 5s safe online:

Statistics released by Ofcom show that over 50% of children aged 3-4 go online for nearly 8 hours a week, and 1 in 5 children aged  3-4 have their own tablet. Whether it’s watching videos, playing games on their devices or talking to Alexa – today’s under 5s are spending more time online. In this article we look at the benefits of children accessing the internet, and share advice about how parents can make sure their child has a safe experience online.

Click here for more information on keeping your under 5s safe

Live streaming: responding to the risks:

Many children enjoy live streaming as it can be used to showcase talent, develop communication skills and create identity. Our article helps parents to understand why children love it, what the risks can be, and how they can help their child stay safe if they are live streaming.

Click here for more information on live steam risks

Using parental controls:

Controls can either be for a device like a games console, or for a network such as your home broadband. The way to access device controls can vary according to the manufacturer.   They can offer varying types of protection, from filtering out adult content from search results to preventing your child from buying things when playing games. Parental controls are a great tool for helping to protect children but should not replace open and honest conversations with children about their life online.

Click here for more information on parental controls

NSPCC Training – Child Sexual Exploitation
What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

CSE is a type of sexual abuse, when a child or young person is being exploited they are given things like gifts, money, status and affection in exchange for sexual activities. Children and young people are often tricked into believing they are in a loving and consensual relationship, this is called ‘grooming’ and they may trust their abuser and not understand that they are being abused and exploited. Children and young people can be trafficked into and around the country, forced to take part in sexual activities often with more than one person. Anybody can be a perpetrator of CSE, no matter their age, gender or race, sometimes these abusers use violence and intimidation to frighten and force a child or young person, making them feel as if they have no choice.

Indicators and signs of CSE in children and young people

  • Having money, clothing, items that cannot or won’t be explained
  • Being secretive and distancing away from family members
  • Physical injuries such as bruising and bleeding
  • Sharp mood swings, emotionally volatile
  • Inappropriate sexual language and behaviour
  • Alcohol and drug misuse
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Pregnancy

Recognising CSE in children and young people

  • Staying out late or overnight
  • Changes in character, appearance or personal hygiene
  • Having older partners, or new friends of an older age group
  • Involved in criminal activities such as shoplifting or anti-social behaviour
  • Involved in a gang
  • Missing from School or College

There are different types of exploitation:

Criminal, sexual, domestic, formed labour and organ harvesting (kidney most popular)

Statistics show London has the highest number of CSE trafficking referral cases in the country, Liverpool is reported to have the 2nd most number of these cases. Almost half of all reports were direct to the police with the majority of third party referrals coming from social services. Peer on peer offending accounts for 34% of CSE offences, and 64% on average are involving young women. For further information you can visit the NSPCC website below:

NHS sets out ‘care for young carers’ offer in GP surgeries

NHS England has outlined a series of practical plans and actions designed to help young carers who may be ‘hidden’, unpaid and under the age of 16.  Family doctors across the country can now volunteer to offer a new package of services for children and young adults who perform an informal caring role for a family member. This includes priority appointments for carers, home visits, additional mental health checks, and ‘double appointments’ for the carer and those they provide care for.

Research from Barnardo’s and Carers Trust has highlighted a host of challenges young people face in juggling their caring role with their education and own health, with up to 40% experiencing mental health problems. For the full article, please visit:

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