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: https://centrepoint.org.uk/media/3776/xmasreport.pdf
CentrePoint website: https://centrepoint.org.uk/
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: https://www.whitechapelcentre.co.uk/
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 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
- Parental Responsibility
- Listening to the voice of the child
The report can be viewed here; https://www.barnardos.org.uk/sites/default/files/uploads/Generation%20Digital%20-%20report.pdf