Topics for this month:

‘Crisis UK’ – Helping someone who is in crisis this Christmas

Each year ‘Crisis UK’ support thousands of people who are homeless, and now as the harshest time of year approaches with the added unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are getting ready to help many people again across the country who are vulnerable and have nowhere to go.

Social distancing means they will be doing things differently this year but will still be looking after as many people as they possibly can, and the spirit of a Crisis Christmas will be exactly the same. ‘Crisis’ treat people with care and respect, giving people in need that warm welcome, so they get their dignity back and feel ready to take on life again.

The Christmas frontline Crisis teams will be providing food and festive treats, and be on hand with emotional and wellbeing support, offering everything from Christmas games and advice to showing someone cares. Nutritious meals will be provided and there will be somewhere to stay, with help and hope for the future – it will make such a difference to people.

During the pandemic, Crisis have provided remote and in person support to its members with advice, practical support, and wellbeing checks. They have arranged for phones and internet access for hundreds of members so they could be connected and receive support while self-isolated. They also launched a grant programme offering funding to local homelessness organisations to support them to continue provision and transform their services. Recently lobbying with the Government to get people into emergency accommodation during lockdown and to ensure that everyone was able to access emergency accommodation. 

Crisis have also been campaigning to ensure there is a ‘Home for all’, calling for protections from evictions for renters, funding to help people into permanent housing, and changes to ensure that everyone can access homelessness and housing support going forward. Crisis will also be keeping accommodations open into the New Year, so they can better link up with services that might have closed or have reduced staffing levels over the Christmas period, so they have the best chance of helping members access the longer term help they may need into 2021.

You can apply for support on their website or call their helpline number on 0300 636 1967

‘Crisis UK ‘have skylight support centres and shops across the country where you can access more information about what they offer. Crisis believe together we can end homelessness.

You can also donate on their website if you wish.

Domestic Abuse

From March to June 2020 the police recorded more than a quarter of a million domestic abuse-related offences, a 7% increase the same period in 2019 and an 18% increase from in 2018. The number of offences has been increasing in recent years, so it is not possible to determine exactly how the increase relates directly to the pandemic period.

Domestic abuse is not acceptable and should not be tolerated whether the victim is male or female. Every person has the right to live a life free from abuse.

Women’s Aid’s services are provided for women and children survivors. This is because the gendered nature of domestic violence means that women and men have different safety and support needs. Women’s Aid believe that most of the information resources for survivors on their site are relevant to anyone experiencing abuse, and will help you reach a point where you are ready to contact a service for male survivors.

Women’s Aid:

The links listed below give information about organisations for men to contact if you or a man you know is experiencing domestic abuse.

Further information and support:

Survivors UK
Provides help for men who have been sexually abused or raped.

Men’s Advice Line
0808 801 0327 or email
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10am-1pm and 2-5pm
The Men’s Advice Line provides a range of services aimed primarily at men experiencing domestic abuse from their partner.

Women’s Aid Rail to Refuge scheme
Accessing money can be difficult for those experiencing domestic abuse, particularly if they are experiencing financial abuse. This can stop them from travelling to safety and may be a huge barrier to support.

Launched in the March 2020 by railway station manager, Darren O’Brien, the Women’s Aid Rail to Refuge scheme means that survivors with a confirmed refuge space can travel for free across England, Scotland and Wales. The cost of tickets is covered by the Rail Delivery Group and has been extended until the end of March 2021.

Once the person has contacted a women’s aid service and a refuge vacancy has been confirmed a ticket can be allocated.

For further information visit

Cybersecurity: How children can protect themselves online

In recent decades computers have become much more advanced. The average smartphone is now more powerful than the technology used to put the first human on the moon. But with this great power comes even greater responsibility.Cybersecurity can seem like a daunting topic that requires a certain level of technical expertise. But there are simple steps you can take to support the children in your care to protect their information and devices.

Teaching children and young people about cybersecurity is central to building their digital resilience and supporting them to thrive in a digital world.

Why is cybersecurity important?

As computers become increasingly more embedded in our lives, we store important personal information on several devices and computers, which is highly sought after by cybercriminals.   

 Cyber-attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and in an increasingly connected world, it’s never been more important to be mindful about cyber security.  

  • A US study found that there is a hacking attempt online every 39 seconds 
  • In the UK, there are 65,000 daily attempts to hack small to medium-sized businesses 
  • 1 in 10 people in the UK have had their social media or email account hacked 

Empowering the children and young people in our care with cybersecurity skills supports them to understand the valuable importance of taking steps to secure their information and devices from hacking, malware, phishing and data leaks.  

Top Tips for Supporting Children and Young People with Cyber Security 

1. Secure Your Passwords  

When it comes to making passwords, longer is always stronger. Young people may have a lesser understanding of why using a strong password is important. The challenge of making a long password memorable can be tricky for children, young people and even adults.  

General principles of password security:  

  • Passwords should be changed four times a year, use a secure password manager rather than allowing browsers to ‘auto-save’.  
  • Use a different password for each online account  
  • When helping children create passwords, ensure they tell you but no-one else 
  • Use a selection of numbers, capital, and lowercase letters and characters when creating a password (avoid easily guessable information, e.g. name, address, pets, football teams etc.)  
  • Use a formula or recipe, for example, three random words followed by four numbers – pineapple-shoelace-buttercup1969 or replacing vowels in passwords with numbers or symbols – 1L0v3F0rtnIt£  

2. Lockdown your accounts with 2 FA 

2 Factor Authentication (2 FA) is when you need 2 passwords (factors) to authenticate your access to an account or platform 

This is when you log in and use two codes or passwords and sometimes, the platform will send one to your mobile phone or email 

This additional layer of security can bring an extra sense of confidence in cybersecurity for children and young people. 

Young people can also enable 2FA on social media and email accounts to secure them. This means that even if a password is guessed, an unauthorised user should not be able to gain access. This is also useful if they are using a cloud-based storage system such as Google Drive or iCloud. 

TikTok updated with parental controls with family pairing feature
TikTok is used by many teenagers and sometimes children younger than that 13 despite its terms and conditions. Using the new Family Pairing feature can allow parents to guide their child’s TikTok experience in a safer way.

Features include:

  • Search: Decide what can be searched for. This includes content, users, hashtags, or sounds
  • Screen Time Management: Sets how long your teen can spend on TikTok each day

Discoverability: Decide on the account being private (you decide who can see their content) or public (anyone can search and view content)

We have attached a ‘TikTok checklist’, giving all the details about the app and how to stay safe, plus you can find out more information about the Family Pairing feature from here: 

Click here for the TikTok checklist

7 minute briefings

Attached are two briefings: one focusing on domestic abuse from Wirral Safeguarding Children Board and the second focusing on the dark web.

Click here for the domestic abuse briefing

Click here for the Dark web briefing

COVID, anxiety and stress resources

Dr Karen Treisman, MBE, is a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist who works across the National Health System and children’s services. She has extensive experience in the areas of trauma, parenting, adversity (ACE’s) and attachment.

Her website features a wide-range of resources and the section on COVID, anxiety and stress is particularly valuable and can be found here: