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Brighton & Hove Thresholds Framework

Key to interactive guide:       Further information         Useful links and services

This is a draft document for consultation until 2 March 2018. Please email LSCB@Brighton-Hove.gov.uk with your feedback or complete our short survey

Level 1: Universal

Has needs met within universal provision. May need limited intervention within the setting to avoid needs arising.

Child Developmental Needs

  • Good attendance (above 90%)
  • Meeting developmental & learning milestones
  • Has emotional well-being
  • Ability to protect self and be protected
  • Resilient and able to adapt to change
  • Physically healthy
  • Age-appropriate self care & independence skills
  • Positive sense of self and abilities
  • Ability to express needs

Family & Environment

  • Stable & affectionate relationships with caregivers
  • Housed, good diet and kept healthy
  • Supportive networks
  • Access to positive activities
  • Positive relationships with peers

Parents & Carers 

  • Protected by carers
  • Secure and caring home
  • Receive and act on information, advice and guidance
  • Appropriate boundaries maintained

Level 1: Universal 

Go direct to Service or search the Family Information Service 01273 293545 or 01273 290400/ Option 2 for the Local Offer

 


Level 2: Early Help

Has additional needs identified within the setting that can be met within identified resources through a single agency response and partnership working.

Child Developmental Needs

Absence/truancy from school

Incidence of absence/missing from home   

Persistent poor behaviour in school

Risk of social exclusion

Poor relationships

Language and communication difficulties

Disability or additional special educational needs  

Difficulty in achieving in education

Potential for becoming Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)

Slow in meeting developmental milestones

Missing health checks/immunisations

Minor health problems

Early signs of offending/anti-social behaviour

Underage sexual activity  

Early signs of drug/alcohol misuse

Poor self-esteem

Low level emotional & behavioural issues that may be linked to attachment and/or emotional development delay, i.e. children who have previously been Children in Care (CiC).

Family & Environment

Young carers

Poor parent/ child relationships

Children of prisoners/ parents subject to community orders  

Bullying    

Poor housing & home environment impacting on child health  

Community harassment/ discrimination  

Low income affects achievement  

Parenting advice needed to prevent needs escalating  

Poor access to universal services

Risk of relationship breakdown  

Concerns about possible domestic abuse

Parents & Carers

Inconsistent care arrangements  
Poor supervision by parent/ carer
Poor response to child’s physical, emotional or health needs
Historic context of parents/ carers own childhood

 

Level 2: Early Help

Consider commencement of Early Help Strengthening Families Assessment & consider commencement of Pastoral Support Plan. 


Level 3: Early Help Partnership Plus

Has muliple needs requiring a multi-agency coordinated response 

Despite intervention at Level 2 there is evidence of continuing & escalating need

Child Developmental Needs

Persistent absence from school  

Missing from school/ home regularly with no explanation  

Fixed Term exclusions/no school place
Social exclusion

Poor relationships
No access to universal services

Significant disabilities

NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training)   

Developmental milestones not being met due to persistent parental failure/inability

Chronic/recurring health problems
Regular missed appointments affecting developmental progress  

Teenage pregnancy

Drug/alcohol misuse impacting negatively  

Risky sexual behaviour (e.g. unprotected sex)

Offending / anti-social behaviour resulting in risk of entering Youth Justice System
Emotional / mental health issues

Family & Environment 

Housing tenancy at risk
Domestic abuse

Community harassment / discrimination
Relationship breakdown having adverse impact on children’s outcomes

Transient families

Parents & CarersH

Parental learning or physical disability, substance misuse or mental health impacts on parenting  

Inconsistent care arrangements

Poor supervision by parent/carer

Poor response to identified needs

Historic context of parents/carers own childhood

Domestic abuse & coercive control

Level 3: Early Help Partnership Plus

Early Help Strengthening Families Assessment & Plan or EHCP. If you require advice or guidance in respect of the child needs contact the Front Door For Families



Level 4: Specialist Services to address Acute & Chronic need

Has a high level of unmet & complex needs, or is in need of protection

Persistent / continued / severe

Child Developmental Needs

Chronic persistent absence, permanent exclusions or no school place that risks entry to the care system
Persistent social exclusion
Poor relationships
Complex / multiple disabilities

Complex mental health issues affecting development needs, including self harm
High level emotional health issues and very low self-esteem  

Non-organic failure to thrive  
Inappropriate sexual knowledge / sexualised behaviour for age.
Harmful Sexual Behaviour  

Teenage parent/pregnancy under the age of 13

Sexual criminal exploitation / abuse  

Drug/alcohol use severely impairing development 

Frequently missing from home resulting in self-neglect

Relationship breakdown between child & parent 

Offending and in the criminal justice system
Unaccompanied minors

Unexplained / suspicious injury

Family & Environment

Suspicion of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect

Domestic abuse resulting in child being at risk of significant harm

Homeless child/young person

Family intentionally homeless

Community harassment/discrimination
Extreme poverty affecting child well-being

Forced marriage, Honour Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation

Parents & Carers

Edge of care

Parental encouragement of abusive/offending behaviour
Continuing poor supervision in the home
Parental non-compliance / superficial co-operation
Inconsistent parenting affects child’s developmental progress
Private fostering

Level 4: Specialist Services to  address Acute & Chronic need

Contact Front Door For Families on 01273 290400 or if the child is at immediate risk call the  Police on 999

 

Attendance less than 95%.
Good attendance is important because:
• Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and absence below 95%
• Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
• Regular attenders find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with
• Regular attenders find learning more satisfying
• Regular attenders are more successful in transferring between primary school, secondary school, and higher education, employment or training
Parents can be signposted to information on NHS Choices to ensure their child is well enough to attend school. 
An indicator of a child being at possible risk of exploitation is linked to children beginning to go missing from home, with their whereabouts unknown.
 Persistent poor behaviour, where the child does not respond to standard sanction/reward measures by school and parents/carers.
Behaviour is impacting child’s ability to learn.
Behaviour is impacting child’s relationships with peers and with adults in school.
Behaviour is impacting child’s access to education (frequent removal from classroom, including internal exclusion).
Schools will be taking a staged approached, based on their Behaviour Policy, which might include setting up a support plan and undertaking a review of child’s learning needs.
This section is under development
 Exclusion consists of dynamic, multi-dimensional processes driven by unequal power relationships that interact across four main dimensions – economic, political, social and cultural. Social Exclusion also happens at different levels including individual, household, group, community, country and global levels. It results in a continuum of inclusion/exclusion characterised by unequal access to resources, capabilities and rights which may lead to health inequalities and adversely affect outcomes. World Health Organisation Definition
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The impact of a child being poorly regarded or having their needs ignored by care givers can be felt throughout a person’s life and is a likely cause of future demand on a wide range of services to respond.If poor relationships are suspected in children aged 5 and under, the family should be signposted to the Health Visiting Service for further support / advice.Poor relationships in education (with peers and/or with adults) is a key indicator, often manifesting as or described as poor behaviour or bullying (victim and/or perpetrator).
This section is under development
 Pre-school

Children’s speech and language will be routinely reviewed at the 27 month health review. Those identified with difficulties will be offered interventions through the Healthy Child Programme 0 – 19 team, Children’s Centre team and specialist Speech and Language Therapy or Seaside View Child Development Centre as appropriate

School-age
If a child has language or communication difficulties all referrals to S LT are made through school. Schools can refer directly Sea Side View. HCP team 5-19 can make direct referrals to Sea Side View. 

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Many children will need extra help with their learning at some point, but this does not necessarily mean that they have a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND).

Children and young people have SEND if they:

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age
  • Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from using the facilities generally provided in mainstream schools or colleges.

Special provision must be made for children and young people with SEND. Sometimes this may only be for a short time and sometimes support will be needed for the whole of someone’s life.

Read more about how schools and other educational settings support children with SEND here

Identifying and assessing special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
If you are concerned about your child’s health or development, you should speak to a professional who works with you or them in the first instance. Depending on your child’s age or circumstances, this might be a health visitor, nursery worker, teacher, social worker or your GP.

You can also contact Amaze, the local SEND Information, Advice and Support Service, for advice around diagnosis and assessment.

If your child is at school or nursery, there are certain set processes for assessing their needs and the support that may help them. Find out more about how schools and other settings must support children and young people with SEND here

Where there are shared concerns about a child or young person’s developmental progress, they may be referred for assessment through the following services:

  • Children’s Disability Service at Seaside View Child Development Centre Integrated services for children and young people with SEND including health, education and social care
  • Brighton and Hove Inclusion Support Service School-based support for children and young people with SEND
  • Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Services Mental health services for children and young people with and without SEND

The assessment process might involve seeing different specialist services or being seen in more than one place, for example at the Seaside View Assessment Centre or school or nursery.

Read a detailed overview of identifying special educational needs for all age groups from GOV. UK

Schools should review a child’s learning needs, in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice. A pupil has special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.
Schools should make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. These should seek to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. This can be characterised by progress which:
  • is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
  • fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • widens the attainment gap

Where progress continues to be less than expected the school, should assess whether the child has SEND.
For some children, SEND can be identified at an early age. However, for other children and young people difficulties become evident only as they develop.
Persistent disruptive or withdrawn behaviours do not necessarily mean that a child or young person has SEND. Where there are concerns, there should be an assessment to determine whether there are any causal factors such as undiagnosed learning difficulties, difficulties with communication or mental health issues. If it is thought housing, family or other domestic circumstances may be contributing to the presenting behaviour a multi-agency approach, supported by the use of approaches such as the Early Help Assessment, may be appropriate. In all cases, early identification and intervention can significantly reduce the use of more costly intervention at a later stage.

This section is under development 
 Young people up to the age of 16 are required by law to be in full time education. Young people aged 16-18 are required to be participating in some form of education, training or employment with training.
Young people who are not fully engaged in school may be at increased risk of becoming NEET at age 16. It is important to identify these young people early, before they disengage from education, so that help can be put in place to support them. Some indicators that a young person is at risk of becoming NEET may include, but is not limited to:
  • increased levels of absence or truancy
  • low levels of prior attainment
  • behavioural or social difficulties
  • chaotic family background
  • offending or at risk of offending
  • in care/care leaver
  • young parent

Schools have a duty to ensure that all young people on their roll are engaged in an appropriate curriculum and have access to the right support to enable them to achieve. Level 2 single agency support should be sought from the school in the first instance.

Schools can provide additional independent advice, guidance and support for students (and their parents/carers) to ensure that they have appropriate post-16 plans in place.

 Pre-school
Children will routinely have their developmental milestones assessed by way of ASQ-3 assessment at their 9-12 month and 27 month health reviews. Those identified as slow to meet their milestones will be referred to the appropriate specialist services, for example, Seaside View Child development Centre. Children can be reviewed using ASQ -3 assessments at any time from the age of 1 month. This can be accessed by contacting the Healthy Child Programme Team (Health Visiting Service) for their geographical location

School-age
School-age children who are not meeting their developmental milestones and not progressing in school should be discussed with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator to see if additional assessments or support is required.
All Children in their reception year are offered a vision and hearing screening test by the 5-19 Healthy Child Programme team. If the child is identified as having a possible concern they will be referred to an orthoptist or audiologist with parent/carer consent.

If there are subsequent concerns about a child’s vision or hearing this should be discussed with the child’s parent/carer to check whether they are already seeing a specialist. If they are not already being seen by audiology or an optician parent/ carers should be advised to seek a free eye assessment. Special Educational Needs Coordinators can make a referral to audiology directly from Year one onwards.

If there are concerns about a child’s fine or gross motor skills schools should refer to and liaise with their link therapist. Parents can get further support and advice from their GP or from their School Nurse. 

Schools and parent/carers can access supportive health and wellbeing information through NHS Choices, or contacting the appropriate HCP 5-19 team
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This section is under development 
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  • Contact NHS Choices for information about managing minor health problems. If worried about an urgent medical concern, call 111 and speak to a fully trained advisor.
  • Where to go for: Health 
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This section is under development 
The age of consent for sex in England and Wales is 16 for both men and women. The age of consent is the same regardless of the sexual orientation of a person and whether sexual activity is between people of the same or different gender.
It is an offence for anyone to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 16. However, Home Office guidance is clear that there is no intention to prosecute teenagers under the age of 16 where both mutually agree and where they are of a similar age.

It is an offence for a person aged 18 or over to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 if the older person holds a position of trust (for example a teacher or social worker) as such sexual activity is an abuse of the position of trust.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides specific legal protection for children aged 12 and under who cannot legally give their consent to any form of sexual activity. There is a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for rape, assault by penetration, and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Schools and other agencies will / may have a confidentiality policy which clearly dictates what information they will pass to interested parties in relation to under age sexual activity if the young person is aged 13 years and above.
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Young people can access their Sexual Health clinic or a Sexual Health Outreach Nurse for contraception, STI testing, treatment and information through sexual health and contraception clinic (SHAC). Trained youth support practitioners are available at a range of community venues and can provide confidential information, advice and signposting. Young people can access free condoms, chlamydia testing and pregnancy testing from a range of community settings.

Some secondary school offer support and advice with regard to sexual health to young people at a weekly drop in run jointly by School Nurse and Youth Worker .

Free Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC) is available from Pharmacies across Brighton & Hove. Please phone the pharmacy before attending to ensure the trained pharmacist is available to dispense the EHC. Young people can also access free EHC from their GP or local sexual health clinic. Details can be found here

 Alcohol and substance misuse services are offered to young people.

Level 2 (targeted) services are available to support children and young people via ru-ok?. These services work to reduce and mitigate the risks to young people and those considered vulnerable. Youth projects in Brighton and Hove offer prevention support to young people around substance misuse. See the The targeted service will:

  • Promote improved educational outcomes for vulnerable pupils who may be involved in substance misuse
  • Offer advice and consultation to school staff, including drug coordinators, on substance misuse management issues.
  • Provide individual support at a targeted level for young people who may be engaged in substance misuse, this will include supporting young people who are at risk of exclusion or who are returning from exclusion
  • work with families and other agencies to support the young person.

Referrals to the service will be accepted from professionals and young people themselves.
Young people should be referred when a substance related incident occurs and where there are concerns that they are becoming involved in regular absence or are displaying changes in behaviour, due to substance misuse. Young people’s consent must be gained for the referral and confidentiality and need for safeguarding should be addressed..
Definitions of the early signs of substance misuse can be found on the

Drinkaware have a definition of the early signs of alcohol misuse and the ‘Talk to Frank’ website offers a definition of the early signs of drug misuse

 Self-esteem should be viewed as a continuum, and can be high, medium or low, and is often quantified as a number in empirical research. When considering self-esteem it is important to note that both high and low levels can be emotionally and socially harmful for the individual. Indeed it is thought an optimum level of self-esteem lies somewhere in the middle of the continuum. Read more 
 Certain individuals and groups are more likely to develop emotional and behavioural problems than others. One in ten children and young people aged 5-10 has a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder. Risk factors are cumulative with children exposed to multiple risks such as social disadvantage, family adversity and cognitive or attention problems being much more likely to develop emotional and behavioural problems.

Seemingly against all the odds, some children exposed to significant risk factors develop into competent, confident and caring adults. An important key to promoting children’s mental health is understanding the protective factors that enable children to be resilient when they encounter problems and challenges.

Resilience is linked to self-esteem and confidence, a belief in own self-efficacy and ability to deal with change and ability to adapt and being able to have a range of problem solving approaches.

 A Young Carer is a young person under 18 who has a responsibility for caring for a relative (or very occasionally a friend) who has an illness or disability, including some-one with mental health or substance misuse problems.  For many young carers caring can lead to feelings of pride and help develop additional skills.  However, caring can also lead to a variety of losses for the child, and have a negative impact on their mental or emotional health, and/or educational attainment and attendance.  It can also have an impact on friendships and social activities.

All agencies in contact with young carers should consider if they are in need of support services in their own right, and / or whether the family might benefit from additional support.  A key way to ensure the young carer’s responsibilities are minimised is to ensure that the ‘cared for’ is accessing relevant services.  This might include Adult Social Care, GP’s, Amaze, or The Parenting Team.

See The Carers Hub Website for further information and to make a referral.  Following a referral The Young Carers Coordinator/Family Coach can ensure that the right support is offered to the family through relevant information and advice, and / or targeted support through The Young Carers Project, who support young carers aged 6 and over.

If The Young Carers Coordinator/Family Coach identifies the following:

  • If the family have little or no support network around their health or caring roles, including through friends, family and professionals
  • If the young carers is doing multiple inappropriate tasks, such as personal care or budgeting
  • If there is a significant impact on the young carers school attendance and attainment
  • If there is a significant impact on the young carers mental or physical health

then a Strengthening Families Assessment and Plan can be completed and where relevant a Team and Around the Family Meeting set up, or ITFPYS Family Coach allocated where threshold is met.

The local authority should consider whether any provisions of the Children Act 1989 or The Children and Families Act 2014 and The Care Act 2014, should be applied.  Depending on the extent and effect of caring responsibilities, the young carer may come within the definition of a Child In Need under Section17 of the Children Act 1989.

 Research indicates that the quality of a parents’ relationship with their child is consistently and positively associated with a range of child and family outcomes, including: child behaviour problems, a child’s social competence, children’s engagement with school, children’s mental health, parent-child communication, and parental feelings of frustration.

The impact of a child being poorly regarded or having their needs ignored by care givers can be felt throughout a person’s life and is a likely cause of future demand on a wide range of services to respond.

If poor relationships are suspected in children aged 5 and under, the family should be signposted to the Health Visiting Service for further support / advice.

Poor relationships in education (with peers and/or with adults) is a key indicator, often manifesting as or described as poor behaviour or bullying (victim and/or perpetrator).

This section is under development 
 Research shows that imprisonment has an impact on a child’s internal world (thoughts and feelings), an impact on the family world of the child and an impact on the child in the outside world (at school, in the neighbourhood, with peers etc.) Obviously, not all children affected by imprisonment will face the same difficulties and challenges. Also, children of different ages and developmental stages will be affected indifferent ways.

For more information for families coping with a parent in prison please see the Family Information Service Factsheet 

There is increasing research that suggests a strong link between bullying in childhood and poor mental health outcomes into adolescence and adulthood. A study by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and King’s College London, showed that younger people who are bullied in their childhood are more likely to use mental health services long into adulthood, compared to those who weren’t bullied.
In Brighton & Hove Safety Net’s services are designed to support the mental, physical and emotional well-being of children and young people aged 8 – 13 (and sometimes 7 year olds) across the city. The service works with children, families, schools and neighbourhoods, building communities where children know they have the right to feel safe and adults are actively involved in protecting them from harm.
Poor housing during childhood has financial and social costs across many areas including health, education and the economy. Children in temporary accommodation and poor housing suffer far higher rates of ill health, both physical and mental, and declining life chances and educational attainment. “Bad housing” is defined by the government as homes that are overcrowded, damp, have mould issues, or are cold.
A 2013 NatCen report found that nationally more than 975,000 children living in social rented housing are living in bad housing. Approximately 845,000 children living in private rented housing are living in bad housing. The report found more than 1.7 million children living in owner occupied housing are in bad housing. In total, 3.6 million children are in poor or overcrowded homes.
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Visit the Safe in the city website for more information on community safety, and how to report hate incidents.They also run several groups and forums including:

One Voice is a partnership of Brighton & Hove faith and community groups, the Council and Sussex Police to tackle all forms of racism, intolerance, and extremism.

Remember, in an emergency always call 999. 

Research studies advise that Children in lower-income households tend to fare less well in school and to have worse health than their better-off peers. However, it is not clear how far this is due to differences in financial resources and how far it is due to other household factors (e.g. levels of parental education or parenting approaches). This uncertainty leaves room for considerable difference of opinion about solutions. A review of available research demonstrated that household income directly correlates with the level of children’s achievements.
Evidence from the 1995 child protection research (Department of Health 1995) indicated that when parents have problems of their own, these may adversely affect their capacity to respond to the needs of their children.
Research-based typology of families has been developed to help professionals identify the range, type and duration of services required to meet the needs of the child and support the family (Cleaver and Freeman 1995). Three categories in the typology are particularly relevant:

1. Families experiencing a specific problem: these families are rarely known to statutory agencies and come to their attention because of a specific issue, for example acute parental mental illness or a parental drug overdose. Families are not confined to any social class and, on the surface their lives may appear quite ordered.
2. Acutely distressed families: families who normally cope, but an accumulation of difficulties has overwhelmed them. Families tend to be composed of single, poorly supported parents, with limited resources or parents who are physically ill or disabled.
3.Families experiencing multiple problems: families who are likely to be known to children’s services, welfare agencies and potentially linked to the Criminal Justice System.

They experience a range of problems, many of which are chronic. Difficulties may include parental learning disability, poor mental and physical health, domestic violence, severe alcohol problems, drug abuse, poor housing, long-term unemployment and financial and social isolation.
Read more

Working Together 2015 is clear that providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years. Early help can also prevent further problems arising for a family and is the responsibility of all Universal Services. (See S10 Children Act 2004)

In 2001 the National Family and Parenting Institute (NFPI) conducted a national mapping of family services in England and Wales (Henricson et al., 2001). One of the key findings was that availability was patchy across the country, but take-up of services by parents tended to be low across the board (with the exception of targeted services). Some specific groups of parents were less likely to access services than others, in particular:
  • Fathers
  • Disabled parents
  • Parents of teenagers
  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) families
  • Asylum-seeking parents
  • Homeless or peripatetic families
  • Rural families.

A parallel survey by NFPI of parents (NFPI, 2001) found the majority had concerns that could be helped by services, and that just over half wanted more information about child development and sources of help. The findings indicate the need for a wide range of parenting and family support services. read more

Demographic and social changes over the last three decades has resulted in families that are more diverse and complex in their structure.  Children now have a higher probability of experiencing parental separation, having a lone parent, being part of a step family than was once the case.  The impact of family separation and breakdown is a key issue to consider when taking a Whole Family approach to supporting a child.  It is important to say that whilst children can be adversely impacted upon by relationship breakdown they can equally be adversely affected through living with parents who are in abusive and unhappy relationships.

While Family transitions can increase the chances of a child experiencing adverse outcomes the evidence suggests that relatively few children and adolescents experience enduring problems and that some children actually benefit with the ending of harmful dynamics within their family.

Family breakdown is not a single event but a process that involves a number of risk and protective factors that interact in complex ways both prior to and following family relationship breakdown.  The interrelated factors to consider include; parental conflict, the quality of parenting and of parent-child relationships, parents mental health, financial hardship, repeated changes in living arrangements, including family structure.

Read more 

It is often difficult to tell if domestic abuse is happening, because it usually takes place in the family home and abusers can act very differently when other people are around. Children who witness domestic abuse may:
  • become aggressive
  • display anti-social behaviour
  • suffer from depression or anxiety
  • not do as well at school – due to difficulties at home or disruption of moving to and from refuges.

The presentation of the following characteristics might be a sign that a child is being abused. The list is not exhaustive and may include a combination of the following, or none. However if you are worried that a child may be exposed to domestic abuse it is good to be alert to the signs of a child being; withdrawn, suddenly behaving differently, anxious, clingy, depressed, aggressive, having problem sleeping, eating disorders, wetting the bed, soils clothes, takes risks, misses school. changes in eating habits, obsessive behaviour, nightmares, using drugs and alcohol, self-harm, thoughts about suicide.
Living in a home where there’s domestic abuse is harmful. It can have a serious impact on a child’s behaviour and wellbeing.
Parents or carers may underestimate the effects of the abuse on their children because they don’t see what’s happening. Children witnessing domestic abuse is recognised as ‘significant harm’ in law.
Read more
The effects of exposure to domestic abuse can continue into adulthood. Often, once children are in a safer and more stable environment, most children are able to move on from the effects of witnessing domestic abuse.

Consistency teaches children predictability, and it eliminates the stress, confusion and anxiety that comes from not knowing what might happen or being able to contain inevitable uncertainties. Children need to feel trust in their parents and care givers. This trust provides important security that shapes the child’s behavior and emotions. When a child doesn’t feel trust because parents are inconsistent, the child may feel confusion, anxiety and distrust. Inconsistent parenting may even contribute to negative behavior in children because children may be seeking to illicit predicted responses. 
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Poor parental supervision often begins at early childhood; however, the consequences of this parenting style might not become obvious until the child becomes a teenager.
Indications of poor parental supervision in early childhood can be when children experience injuries for which they and parents appear to have no explanation. Teenagers who lack parental supervision are more likely to engage in early sexual behaviour and experiences with drugs and alcohol than children of authoritative parents. The influence of peers is significantly high during the teenage years, and a poor self-image may allow these individuals more susceptible to engage in criminal behaviour or become the subject of exploitation themselves.
In some cases, the problem is complicated by public and professional responses to young people. Sometimes children are considered a source of disorder and their behaviour must be restricted, this may make young people feel angry and unwanted. They are out on the streets because they have nowhere else to turn, and because they are not appreciated at home.
There may be reasons why a parent or carers ability to provide care and supervision has been compromised and professionals need to remain mindful of this wider context when seeking to support a parent improving their ability to keep their child in mind.
Read more: Parental supervision: the views and experiences of young people and their parents 
There is significant research as to how parents and carers responses shape children’s development. The quality of parent-child relationships is significantly associated with: Learning skills and educational achievement, Social competence, Children’s own views of themselves. Including their sense of self-worth, aggressive ‘externalising’ behaviour and delinquency, depression, anxiety and other ‘internalising’ problems, high-risk health behaviours.
Research has found that parenting programmes to support parents have increasingly become a matter of public health.

Read more 

There is a growing body of evidence that our experiences during childhood can affect health throughout our lives. Children who experience stressful and poor quality childhoods are more likely to adopt health-harming behaviours during adolescence which can themselves lead to mental health illnesses and higher rates of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes later in life. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are not just a concern for health. Experiencing ACEs means individuals are more likely to perform poorly in school, more likely to be involved in crime and ultimately less likely to be a productive member of society.
People who experience ACEs as children often end up trying to raise their own children in households where ACEs are more common. Such a cycle of childhood adversity can lock successive generations of families into poor health and anti-social behaviour for generations. Equally however, preventing ACEs in a single generation or reducing their impacts can benefit not only those children but also future generations.

read more: Adverse Childhood Experiences

read more: British Association of Social Workers

read more: BMC Medicine 

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Attendance less than 95%.

Good attendance is important because:

  • Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and absence below 95%
  • Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
  • Regular attenders find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with
  • Regular attenders find learning more satisfying
  • Regular attenders are more successful in transferring between primary school, secondary school, and higher education, employment or training
  • Persistent absenteeism is linked with increased risk in relation to child sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and a decrease in life opportunities that can have long term impacts into adulthood.

If the child or young person has an ongoing health problem they can be referred to the 5-19 Healthy Child Programme following discussion with parent/ carer/ young person. Each school has a named School Nurse and schools have the referral form.

Parents can be signposted to information on NHS Choices to ensure their child is well enough to attend school.
Children who are missing invariably place themselves at risk. The reasons for their absence are varied and complex and cannot be viewed in isolation from their home circumstances.
Sometimes children go missing with their families to evade contact with professionals. If a child is missing in this context professionals should consult Children and Families who Go Missing Procedure
Every ‘missing’ episode should attract proper attention from the professionals involved with the child and those professionals must collaborate to ensure a consistent and coherent response is given to the child on their return and that parents and carers are supported appropriately.
Children Missing Education may help identify children who are not only missing from school but are also missing from home. There may also be a further link for some children from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to Forced Marriage or Honour Based Violence. For additional guidance see “The right to choose: multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage” Foreign and Commonwealth Officer 2008.
If staff are concerned that trafficking or sexual exploitation may be the reason for underlying prolonged or repeated periods of absence, then contact should be made with the Front Door For Families. Additional information and guidance is available from,Trafficked Children Procedure and within ‘Safeguarding Children Who May Have Been Trafficked‘ HMSO 2008.
There are 2 kinds of exclusion – fixed period (suspended) and permanent (expelled).
Fixed period exclusion: A fixed period exclusion is where a child is temporarily removed from school. They can only be removed for up to 45 school days in one school year, even if they’ve changed school.
If a child has been excluded for a fixed period, schools should set and mark work for the first 5 school days.
If the exclusion is longer than 5 school days, the school must arrange suitable full-time education from the sixth school day, e.g. at a pupil referral unit.
Permanent exclusion: Permanent exclusion means your child is expelled. The local council must arrange full-time education from the sixth school day.
The school or local council must tell parents and carers about any alternative education they arrange. It is a parent or carers responsibility to make sure their child attends.
This section is under development
Social Exclusion consists of dynamic, multi-dimensional processes driven by unequal power relationships that interact across four main dimensions – economic, political, social and cultural. Social Exclusion also happens at different levels including individual, household, group, community, country and global levels. It results in a continuum of inclusion/exclusion characterised by unequal access to resources, capabilities and rights which may lead to health inequalities and adversely affect outcomes. World Heath Organisation Definition

At Early Help Partnership Plus level the extent of a family or child’s social exclusion is being evidenced through the child or family’s behaviour that is beginning to show a negative impact on the development of the child and upon their life chances. 

This section is under development
The impact of a child being poorly regarded or having their needs ignored by care givers can be felt throughout a person’s life and is a likely cause of future demand on a wide range of services to respond.

If poor relationships are suspected in children aged 5 and under, the family should be signposted to the Health Visiting Service for further support / advice.

Poor relationships in education (with peers and/or with adults) is a key indicator, often manifesting as or described as poor behaviour or bullying (victim and/or perpetrator).

The impact of early experiences of poor relationships and often the resultant levels of low or high self-esteem can result in high levels of anxiety and potential conflict in the context of friendships and intimate relationships as a person grows and develops.

This section is under development
In 2001 the National Family and Parenting Institute (NFPI) conducted a national mapping of family services in England and Wales (Henricson et al., 2001). One of the key findings was that availability was patchy across the country, but take-up of services by parents tended to be low across the board (with the exception of targeted services). Some specific groups of parents were less likely to access services than others, in particular:
  • Fathers
  • Disabled parents
  • Parents of teenagers
  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) families
  • Asylum-seeking parents
  • Homeless or peripatetic families
  • Rural families.

A parallel survey by NFPI of parents (NFPI, 2001) found the majority had concerns that could be helped by services, and that just over half wanted more information about child development and sources of help. The findings indicate the need for a wide range of parenting and family support services. Read more

This section is under development
Young people up to the age of 16 are required by law to be in full time education. Young people aged 16-18 are required to be participating in some form of education, training or employment with training.

Brighton & Hove City Council has a duty to promote the active participation in education and training of all young people in Brighton & Hove, including ensuring all 16-18 year olds have an offer of an appropriate place in post -16 education or training, tracking process from pre to post-16 learning and identifying those who are not participating.
Many young people who are NEET will be so for a short period of time. However, there are some NEET young people who will have significant and complex barriers and may need intensive support from a range of specialist agencies before they are ready to re-engage in learning or employment. Brighton & Hove City Council has a responsibility for young people’s participation and NEET reduction and co-ordinates support for young people who have disengaged from learning.

If there is a concern about a child or young person’s speech, development or motor skills that is felt to be attributable to the care the child has been receiving then call the Front Door For Families on 01273 290400 who will be able to advise how best to support them and access an assessment if necessary
If you are concerned that a child is not thriving because they have a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND) – then the following pathway applies.
Children and young people have SEND if they:
  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age
  • Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from using the facilities generally provided in mainstream schools or colleges.

Special provision must be made for children and young people with SEND. Sometimes this may only be for a short time and sometimes support will be needed for the whole of someone’s life.

Read more about how schools and other educational settings support children with SEND.

Identifying and assessing special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

If you are concerned about your child’s health or development, you should speak to a professional who works with you or them in the first instance. Depending on your child’s age or circumstances, this might be a health visitor, nursery worker, teacher, social worker or your GP.

You can also contact Amaze, the local SEND Information, Advice and Support Service, for advice around diagnosis and assessment.

If your child is at school or nursery, there are certain set processes for assessing their needs and the support that may help them. Find out more about how schools and other settings must support children and young people with SEND

Where there are shared concerns about a child or young person’s developmental progress, they may be referred for assessment through the following services:

The assessment process might involve seeing different specialist services or being seen in more than one place, for example at the Seaside View Assessment Centre or school or nursery.

Read a detailed overview of identifying special educational needs for all age groups from GOV. UK

School-age Children and young people can be referred to the 5-19 Healthy Child Programme School Nursing service where there are concerns about a child or young person’s health. If they have a complex need or a long term health condition School Nurses can work together with the child/young person, parent/carers, schools and the health professionals who are involved in their care, to help them get the support that they need.

The child/ young person can be referred to the School Nurse following discussion with parent/ carer/ young person. The School Nurse teams are based in 0-19 Healthy Child Programme Teams.

Additional resources to support a child or young person’s health and well-being can be found here
Neglect is the most common form of child maltreatment in England. Neglect can be defined from the child’s perspective as their right not to be exposed to inhuman or degrading treatment (HRA. Article 3)

Neglect in the early years can have a longstanding impact across the whole spectrum of children’s development and throughout their life span. Early intervention and support for families where neglect is identified is therefore of utmost importance in ensuring children are protected from harm.

Neglect is rarely life threatening but can be when it happens in combination with other forms of maltreatment. Neglect has the potential to compromise a child’s development significantly, across multiple domains. Effective interventions can help neglected children and young people recover from impairment which is why regularly missing appointments to receive such help and support is a concern.

Video: Rethinking Did Not Attend 

 Pregnant teenagers are entitled to the same support and information as all pregnant women and will be under the care of their GP and Midwife.

Schools should make a referral to EOTAS so that girls can get home tuition for 18 weeks.

In Brighton and Hove all pregnant teenagers are offered the Healthy Child Programme and additional support via the Healthy Futures Team, a city-wide team based at Roundabout Children’s Centre.

Contact sc-tr.healthyfuturesteam@nhs.net Tel 01273 666484 

This section is under development
The age of consent for sex – England and Wales
The age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women. The age of consent is the same regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of a person and whether the sexual activity is between people of the same or different gender.
It is an offence for anyone to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 16. However, Home Office guidance is clear that there is no intention to prosecute teenagers under the age of 16 where both mutually agree and where they are of a similar age.
It is an offence for a person aged 18 or over to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 if the older person holds a position of trust (for example a teacher or social worker) as such sexual activity is an abuse of the position of trust.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides specific legal protection for children aged 12 and under who cannot legally give their consent to any form of sexual activity. There is a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for rape, assault by penetration, and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Schools and other agencies will / may have a confidentiality policy which clearly dictates what information they will pass to interested parties in relation to under age sexual activity if the young person is aged 13 years and above.
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Alternatively they can access their Sexual Health clinic or a Sexual Health Outreach Nurse for contraception, STI testing, treatment and information through sexual health and contraception clinic (SHAC). Trained youth support practitioners are available at a range of community venues and can provide confidential information, advice and signposting.

Young people can access free condoms, chlamydia testing and pregnancy testing from a range of community settings.

Some secondary school offer support and advice with regard to sexual health to young people at a weekly drop in run jointly by School Nurse and Youth Worker .

Free Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC) is available from Pharmacies across Brighton & Hove. Please phone the pharmacy before attending to ensure the trained pharmacist is available to dispense the EHC. Young people can also access free EHC from their GP or local sexual health clinic. Details can be found here

This section is under development
This section is under development
Certain individuals and groups are more likely to develop emotional and behavioural problems than others. One in ten children and young people aged 5-10 has a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder. Risk factors are cumulative with children exposed to multiple risks such as social disadvantage, family adversity and cognitive or attention problems being much more likely to develop emotional and behavioural problems.

Seemingly against all the odds, some children exposed to significant risk factors develop into competent, confident and caring adults. An important key to promoting children’s mental health is to understand the protective factors that enable children to be resilient when they encounter problems and challenges.

Resilience is linked to self-esteem and confidence and a belief in own self-efficacy and ability to deal with change and ability to adapt and being able to have a range of problem solving approaches.

Research suggests that there is a complex interplay between risk factors in children’s lives and promoting their resilience. As social disadvantage and the number of stressful life events accumulate for children and young people, more factors that are protective are required to counterbalance.

Risk factors can be located in the child, the family, the environment and educational establishment or across all the factors.

Schools can promote pupils mental health and wellbeing by setting a culture that values all pupils, allows them to feel a sense of belonging and makes it possible to talk about problems in a non-stigmatising way, alongside setting a strong ethos for high expectation of attainment.

We have two commissioned services at this level;

(1) Schools Wellbeing Service – Primary Mental Health Workers in all Secondary Schools as starting to be rolled out to Primary Schools and considering how to roll out to Colleges. This is a whole school approach to emotional wellbeing and mental health (1:1 and group work);

(2) Community Wellbeing Service which also a hub for mental health referrals.  This is an all-ages service (4+) which enables a family approach where relevant www.brightonandhovewellbeing.org and BICS.brighton-and-hove-wellbeing@nhs.net

Specialist CAMHS – referrals should go through the hub (Community Wellbeing) apart from crisis / urgent referrals (Duty Tel 0300 304 0061 which is Mon-Fri until 10pm) and more information from www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/brighton-and-hove-CAMHS

We encourage CYP as well as parents to go (online) to  www.findgetgive.com

Information for professionals and other referrers on Children & Young People’s Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Services in Brighton & Hove

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/508847/Mental_Health_and_Behaviour_-_advice_for_Schools_160316.pdf 

Being at risk of homelessness or being homeless can be very stressful. If you are at risk of homelessness, it is important to get help and advice at an early stage. This information will help you find accommodation in Brighton & Hove and access other advice services.

For Brighton & Hove City Council – Housing Options – Help if you are homeless or at risk of losing your home:

Brighton & Hove Young Peoples Outreach is a local floating support service that helps 16- 25 year olds who have become homeless and have been given independent accommodation through the council or through children services. The support offered is person centred and can last up to a year. They work with young people with different backgrounds, needs and circumstances such as young families, care leavers, and young people with little support networks.
How to access the service:

  • Self-referrals are accepted from young people over the phone
  • Referrals from professionals are also welcome
  • Priority is given to Brighton & Hove City Council Housing Departments, Children Services, as well as any partner organisations listed on the Brighton & Hove housing or accommodation pathway
  • They aim to acknowledge referrals within 24 hours if the client is in crisis or within 48 hours for standard support
  • To request a referral form please send an email or call – see email address and phone number given below

Referral & Enquiry phone number: 07464 926 546
This number is open 8am – 8pm, Mon – Fri (excluding bank holidays)
Referral & Enquiry email address: BHYPOutreachSupport@homegroup.org.uk

Prevent homelessness

-Teach empowerment, life skills and self-development

-Emotional support

-Assistance with getting into education, training, voluntary or paid work

-Housing information

-Debt and money advice-

Help clients make contact other specialist agencies and services in Brighton & Hove

-Work in partnership with other services in the city

-Encourage clients to advocate for themselves, or if they prefer advocate on their behalf

Contact Information
Email address: BHYPOutreachSupport@homegroup.org.uk
Phone: 07464 926 546 

This section is under development 

Visit the Safe in the City website for more information on community safety, and how to report hate incidents.

They also run several groups and forums including:

One Voice is a partnership of Brighton & Hove faith and community groups, the Council and Sussex Police to tackle all forms of racism, intolerance, and extremism.

Remember, in an emergency always call 999.

Professionals can receive advice and guidance regarding any ASB & hate incident from Community Safety casework team on 01273 292735 or communitysafety.casework@brighton-hove.gcsx.gov.uk
Demographic and social changes over the last three decades has resulted in families that are more diverse and complex in their structure. Children now have a higher probability of experiencing parental separation, having a lone parent, being part of a step family than was once the case. The impact of family separation and breakdown is a key issue to consider when taking a Whole Family approach to supporting a child. It is important to say that whilst children can be adversely impacted upon by relationship breakdown they can equally be adversely affected through living with parents who are in abusive and unhappy relationships.
Children and families who move more frequently between local authorities include homeless families, asylum seekers and refugees, gypsy, traveller and Roma families and families experiencing domestic abuse.
In Brighton & Hove these families are offered the Healthy Child Programme and additional support via the Healthy Futures Team, a city-wide team based at Roundabout Children’s Centre.
Contact sc-tr.healthyfuturesteam@nhs.net Tel 01273 666484
A parent’s homelessness or placement in temporary accommodation, often at a distance from previous support networks, can result in or be associated with transient living arrangements. There is a risk that the family may become disengaged from health, education and other support systems. There may also be a reduction in previously available family / community support..
Families that move frequently can find it difficult to access the services they need. For those already socially excluded, moving frequently can worsen the effects of this exclusion and increase isolation.
Some families in which children are harmed move home frequently to avoid contact with concerned agencies, so that no single agency has a complete picture of the family. 
This section is under development 
Substance misuse, domestic violence, learning disability and mental illness, can have a significant impact on children’s welfare .

Research, and in particular the biennial overview reports of serious case reviews (Brandon et al 2008; 2009; 2010), have continued to emphasise the importance of understanding and acting on concerns about children’s safety and welfare when living in households where these types of parental problems are present.
Evidence from the 1995 child protection research (Department of Health 1995a) indicated that when parents have problems of their own, these may adversely affect their capacity to respond to the needs of their children.

In addition to meeting the general needs of parents from disadvantaged backgrounds, it is important to consider the more specialised forms of support required by families in specific circumstances, such as support for parents with mental health difficulties or disabilities, or with substance misuse problems. Good collaborative arrangements are required between services for adults, where the adult is a parent, and children’s services, in particular, where children may be especially vulnerable.

Prevention and supporting recovery is at the heart of this strategy. A ‘whole-life’ approach is proposed in order to break the inter-generational paths to dependency by supporting vulnerable families, providing good quality education and advice, intervening early and supporting people to recover. Relevant agencies are expected to work together to address the needs of the whole person. To prevent substance misuse amongst children and young people (some of whom will have parents who misuse drugs and alcohol)

Read more: Childrens’ Needs & Parenting Capacity 

Consistency teaches children predictability, and it eliminates the stress, confusion and anxiety that comes from not knowing what might happen or being able to contain inevitable uncertainties. Children need to feel trust in their parents and care givers. This trust provides important security that shapes the child’s behavior and emotions. When a child doesn’t feel trust because parents are inconsistent, the child may feel confusion, anxiety and distrust. Inconsistent parenting may even contribute to negative behavior in children because children may be seeking to illicit predicted responses. 
This section is under development
Poor parental supervision often begins at early childhood; however, the consequences of this parenting style might not become obvious until the child becomes a teenager.
Indications of poor parental supervision in early childhood can be when children experience injuries for which they and parents appear to have no explanation. Teenagers who lack parental supervision are more likely to engage in early sexual behaviour and experiences with drugs and alcohol than children of authoritative parents. The influence of peers is significantly high during the teenage years, and a poor self-image may allow these individuals more susceptible to engage in criminal behaviour or becomes the subject of exploitation themselves.
In some cases, the problem is complicated by public and professional responses to young people. Sometimes children are considered a source of disorder and their behaviour must be restricted, this may make young people feel angry and unwanted. They are out on the streets because they have nowhere else to turn, and because they are not appreciated at home.
There may be reasons why a parent or carers ability to provide care and supervision has been compromised and professionals need to remain mindful of this wider context when seeking to support a parent improving their ability to keep their child in mind.
Read more: Parental supervision: the views and experiences of young people and their parents 
This section is under development
There is significant research as to how parents and carers responses shape children’s development. The quality of parent-child relationships is significantly associated with: Learning skills and educational achievement, Social competence, Children’s own views of themselves. Including their sense of self-worth, aggressive ‘externalising’ behaviour and delinquency, depression, anxiety and other ‘internalising’ problems, high-risk health behaviours.
Research has found that parenting programmes to support parents have increasingly become a matter of public health.

Read more 

There is a growing body of evidence that our experiences during childhood can affect health throughout our lives. Children who experience stressful and poor quality childhoods are more likely to adopt health-harming behaviours during adolescence which can themselves lead to mental health illnesses and higher rates of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes later in life. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are not just a concern for health. Experiencing ACEs means individuals are more likely to perform poorly in school, more likely to be involved in crime and ultimately less likely to be a productive member of society.
People who experience ACEs as children often end up trying to raise their own children in households where ACEs are more common. Such a cycle of childhood adversity can lock successive generations of families into poor health and anti-social behaviour for generations. Equally however, preventing ACEs in a single generation or reducing their impacts can benefit not only those children but also future generations.

read more: Adverse Childhood Experiences

read more: British Association of Social Workers

read more: BMC Medicine  

This section is under development
It is often difficult to tell if domestic abuse and/or coercive control is happening, because it usually takes place in the family home and abusers can act very differently when other people are around. Children who witness domestic abuse may:
  • become aggressive
  • display anti-social behaviour
  • suffer from depression or anxiety
  • not do as well at school – due to difficulties at home or disruption of moving to and from refuges.

The presentation of the following characteristics might be a sign that a child is being abused. The list is not exhaustive and may include a combination of the following, or none. However if you are worried that a child may be exposed to domestic abuse it is good to be alert to the signs of a child being; withdrawn, suddenly behaving differently, anxious, clingy, depressed, aggressive, having problem sleeping, eating disorders, wetting the bed, soils clothes, takes risks, misses school. changes in eating habits, obsessive behaviour, nightmares, using drugs and alcohol, self-harm, thoughts about suicide.
Coercive control is a pattern of behaviour which seeks to take away the victim’s liberty or freedom, to strip away their sense of self. It is not just a person’s bodily integrity which is violated but also their human rights. Coercive control is not domestic purely in the sense that it occurs at home, technology allows for surveillance wherever a victim is, and often the victim effectively becomes controlled, internalising the rules, adapting behaviour to survive.
Living in a home where there’s domestic abuse is harmful. It can have a serious impact on a child’s behaviour and wellbeing.
Parents or carers may underestimate the effects of the abuse on their children because they don’t see what’s happening. Children witnessing domestic abuse is recognised as ‘significant harm’ in law.
Read more
The effects of exposure to domestic abuse can continue into adulthood. Often, once children are in a safer and more stable environment, most children are able to move on from the effects of witnessing domestic abuse. 

Attendance less than 95%.
Good attendance is important because:
  • Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and absence below 95%
  • Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
  • Regular attenders find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with
  • Regular attenders find learning more satisfying
  • Regular attenders are more successful in transferring between primary school, secondary school, and higher education, employment or training
  • Persistent absenteeism is linked with increased risk in relation to child sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and a decrease in life opportunities that can have long term impacts into adulthood.

Chronic and persistent absence from school or no school place, alongside other identified risk factors that place a child at risk of coming into care, increases the risk of further negative outcomes.

If the child or young person has an ongoing health problem they can be referred to the 5-19 Healthy Child Programme following discussion with parent/ carer/ young person. Each school has a named School Nurse and schools have the referral form. 

This section is under development 
 Exclusion consists of dynamic, multi-dimensional processes driven by unequal power relationships that interact across four main dimensions – economic, political, social and cultural. Social Exclusion also happens at different levels including individual, household, group, community, country and global levels. It results in a continuum of inclusion/exclusion characterised by unequal access to resources, capabilities and rights which may lead to health inequalities and adversely affect outcomes. World Health Organisation Definition
This section is under development 
The impact of a child being poorly regarded or having their needs ignored by care givers can be felt throughout a person’s life and is a likely cause of future demand on a wide range of services to respond.

If poor relationships are suspected in children aged 5 and under, the family should be signposted to the Health Visiting Service for further support / advice.

Poor relationships in education (with peers and/or with adults) is a key indicator, often manifesting as or described as poor behaviour or bullying (victim and/or perpetrator).

This section is underdevelopment.
Certain individuals and groups are more likely to develop emotional and behavioural problems than others. One in ten children and young people aged 5-10 has a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder. Risk factors are cumulative with children exposed to multiple risks such as social disadvantage, family adversity and cognitive or attention problems being much more likely to develop emotional and behavioural problems.

Seemingly against all the odds, some children exposed to significant risk factors develop into competent, confident and caring adults. An important key to promoting children’s mental health is to understand the protective factors that enable children to be resilient when they encounter problems and challenges.

Resilience is linked to self-esteem and confidence and a belief in own self-efficacy and ability to deal with change and ability to adapt and being able to have a range of problem solving approaches.

Research suggests that there is a complex interplay between risk factors in children’s lives and promoting their resilience. As social disadvantage and the number of stressful life events accumulate for children and young people, more factors that are protective are required to counterbalance.

Risk factors can be located in the child, the family, the environment and educational establishment or across all the factors.

Schools can promote pupils mental health and wellbeing by setting a culture that values all pupils, allows them to feel a sense of belonging and makes it possible to talk about problems in a non-stigmatising way, alongside setting a strong ethos for high expectation of attainment. 

Specialist CAMHS – referrals should go through the hub (Community Wellbeing) apart from crisis / urgent referrals (Duty Tel 0300 304 0061 which is Mon-Fri until 10pm) and more information from www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/brighton-and-hove-CAMHS

Information for professionals and other referrers on Children & Young People’s Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Services in Brighton & Hove 

Self-esteem should be viewed as a continuum, and can be high, medium or low, and is often quantified as a number in empirical research. When considering self-esteem it is important to note that both high and low levels can be emotionally and socially harmful for the individual. Indeed it is thought an optimum level of self-esteem lies somewhere in the middle of the continuum. Read more
Non-organic failure to thrive is the term used when a child does not put on weight and grow and there is no underlying medical cause for this. 
 This section is underdevelopment
As children get older, the way they express their feelings about learning about sex changes. Through social media children can be exposed to sexual images at a far younger age. And in more places than ever before, including music videos, websites and social media. So it’s not surprising that sometimes children’s sexual development can seem out of step with their age.
It’s important that we have a good idea of what’s normal sexual behaviour and can also spot the warning signs if something might not be quite right.
For information regarding the 4 stages of development please see: NSPCC: The stages of normal sexual behaviour 
Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) is the umbrella term for those actions that are either:
  • Sexually abusive, where there is an element of manipulation, force or coercion or where the subject of the behaviour is unable to give informed consent, or
  • Sexually problematic, where there may not be an element of victimisation but where the behaviours may interfere with the development of the child demonstrating the behaviour or which might provoke rejection, cause distress or increase the risk of victimisation of the child.

Children’s sexual behaviour should be thought about as being on a continuum, ranging from healthy, through problematic, to abusive.

Defining what behaviours fit where on the continuum can be a difficult task and should be thought about within the context of the behaviour itself and the developmental situation of the child. A particular behaviour in one circumstance could be harmful whilst in another it may not.

The age of consent for sex – England and Wales
The age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women. The age of consent is the same regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of a person and whether the sexual activity is between people of the same or different gender.
It is an offence for anyone to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 16. However, Home Office guidance is clear that there is no intention to prosecute teenagers under the age of 16 where both mutually agree and where they are of a similar age.
It is an offence for a person aged 18 or over to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 if the older person holds a position of trust (for example a teacher or social worker) as such sexual activity is an abuse of the position of trust.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides specific legal protection for children aged 12 and under who cannot legally give their consent to any form of sexual activity. There is a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for rape, assault by penetration, and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability
Both girls and boys are at risk of sexual exploitation, and it is seriously harmful to children both emotionally and physically. Children and young people often find it very hard to understand or accept that they are being abused through sexual exploitation, and this increases their risk of being exposed to violent assault and life threatening events by those who abuse them.
Exposure to drugs and alcohol can have an impact across children’s childhoods to the extent that development is severely impaired.

The exposure could be either through their parent/carers own use or though their own.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are a group of birth defects that can happen when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most severe type of the disorder. FAS and other spectrum disorders affect children differently.

Children who are missing invariably place themselves at risk. The reasons for their absence are varied and complex and cannot be viewed in isolation from their home circumstances.

Sometimes children go missing with their families to evade contact with professionals. If a child is missing in this context professionals should consult Children and Families who Go Missing Procedure

Every ‘missing’ episode should attract proper attention from the professionals involved with the child and those professionals must collaborate to ensure a consistent and coherent response is given to the child on their return and that parents and carers are supported appropriately.

Children Missing Education may help identify children who are not only missing from school but are also missing from home. There may also be a further link for some children from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to Forced Marriage or Honour Based Violence. For additional guidance see “The right to choose: multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage” Foreign and Commonwealth Officer 2008.

If staff are concerned that trafficking or sexual exploitation may be the reason for underlying prolonged or repeated periods of absence, then contact should be made with the Front Door For Families.  Additional information and guidance is available from,Trafficked Children Procedure and within ‘Safeguarding Children Who May Have Been Trafficked‘ HMSO 2008. 

Demographic and social changes over the last three decades has resulted in families that are more diverse and complex in their structure. Children now have a higher probability of experiencing parental separation, having a lone parent, being part of a step family than was once the case.

The impact of family separation and breakdown is a key issue to consider when taking a Whole Family approach to supporting a child. It is important to say that whilst children can be adversely impacted upon by relationship breakdown they can equally be adversely affected through living with parents who are in abusive and unhappy relationships.

Equally relationships may break down between parents and carers and the children they are responsible for. In Brighton & Hove the threshold for coming into care is guided by:

  • Child has been abandoned and there are no family/ friends options
  • Parents are deceased and there are no family/friends options
  • Parents are in prison and there are no family/friends options
  • Parents in hospital and no family and friend options
  • Child whose welfare and development can only be safeguarded through provision of accommodation outside of the family/friend network
  • Child is assessed as being beyond parental control and there are no family/friends options
  • Meets criteria for secure accommodation
  • Child remanded to Local Authority care/custody
  • Unaccompanied asylum seeking children who require accommodation
  • Eligible & Relevant Care Leavers
  • Children and young people whose adoption placement has broken down and there is no family or friend options. 
This section is under development
This section is under development 
At least half of the estimated 57.4 million people displaced by war around the world are children, and millions of those children have been separated from their families (UNICEF).
Many children have endured unimaginable horrors in an effort to escape from war and conflict.
War can lead to temporary or permanent separation of children from their parents or other adult caregivers. Those relationships are “the major source of a child’s emotional and physical security,” the report says, so “separation can have a devastating social and psychological impact. Without such relationships, children remain vulnerable to continued exploitation.
Unexplained or serious injury should be suspected when a physical injury correlates to:

Historical Findings

  • Inconsistent history
  • History that does not match the physical findings
  • Injuries that do not match the developmental stage of the child

High-Risk Presentations

  • Unexplained or poorly explained death of an infant
  • Unexplained apnea
  • Ingestion or toxin exposure with suspicious history
  • Repeated drug or toxin exposure

Neglect

  • Abandonment
  • Children <8 years old left unattended
  • Delay in seeking care for a serious injury
  • Serious noncompliance with medical care
  • Failure to thrive with no medical explanation
  • Cold injury
  • Parent refusal of medically necessary care (despite medical/cultural/religious differences)

Physical Abuse

Head injury

  • Unexplained CNS insults resulting in coma, seizures or obtundation
  • Skull fracture with suspicious or no history of significant trauma, especially:
  • Depressed skull fracture
  • Diastatic fracture
  • Fracture >3 mm wide
  • Complex or multiple skull fractures
  • Bilateral skull fractures
  • Fracture with associated intracranial injuries
  • Evidence of Shaken Infant Syndrome (altered level of consciousness, closed head injury, CNS or retinal hemorrhage)
  • Catastrophic injury explained by routine falling
  • Subdural hematoma without history of significant trauma

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may cause or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family, or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 includes definitions of the four broad categories of abuse which are used for the purposes of recognition:

  • Physical Abuse;
  • Emotional Abuse;
  • Sexual Abuse; and 
  • Neglect.

These categories overlap and an abused child does frequently suffer more than one type of abuse. Read more

It is often difficult to tell if domestic abuse and/or coercive control is happening, because it usually takes place in the family home and abusers can act very differently when other people are around. Children who witness domestic abuse may:

  • become aggressive
  • display anti-social behaviour
  • suffer from depression or anxiety
  • not do as well at school – due to difficulties at home or disruption of moving to and from refuges.

The presentation of the following characteristics might be a sign that a child is being abused.  The list is not exhaustive and may include a combination of the following, or none.  However if you are worried that a child may be exposed to domestic abuse it is good to be alert to the signs of a child being; withdrawn, suddenly behaving differently, anxious, clingy, depressed, aggressive, having problem sleeping, eating disorders, wetting the bed, soils clothes, takes risks, misses school. changes in eating habits, obsessive behaviour, nightmares, using drugs and alcohol, self-harm, thoughts about suicide.

Coercive control is a pattern of behaviour which seeks to take away the victim’s liberty or freedom, to strip away their sense of self.  It is not just a person’s bodily integrity which is violated but also their human rights.  Coercive control is not domestic purely in the sense that it occurs at home, technology allows for surveillance wherever a victim is, and often the victim effectively becomes controlled, internalising the rules, adapting behaviour to survive. 

In May 2009, the House of Lords made a landmark judgement in the case of R (G) v London Borough of Southwark1 which affects how local authorities provide accommodation and support for homeless 16- and 17-year-olds.
Where the young person requires emergency accommodation (level 4) the statutory agency receiving the approach shall accommodate pending any statutory determination of duties owed.
Where a district housing authority accommodate under (4) above or the young person requests an Assessment of Need under Section 17 Children’s Act 1989, the district housing authority shall continue to accommodate pending that statutory determination
Where Children’s Services accommodate under (4) above but the young person chooses to progress under homelessness provisions rather than be accommodated under Section 20 The Children Act 1989:
Children’s Services shall refer the young person to the district housing authority.
This section is under development
This section is under development

Visit the Safe in the City website for more information on community safety, and how to report hate incidents.

They also run several groups and forums including:

One Voice is a partnership of Brighton & Hove faith and community groups, the Council and Sussex Police to tackle all forms of racism, intolerance, and extremism.

Remember, in an emergency always call 999.  

Professionals can receive advice and guidance regarding any ASB & hate incident from Community Safety casework team on 01273 292735 or communitysafety.casework@brighton-hove.gcsx.gov.uk
This section is under development
This section is under development

GOV.UK Fact Sheet – Female Genital Mutilation 

Children may be on the edge of care for a number of reasons. The criteria for accessing care is detailed below:
Social Work Services – Threshold Criteria for Care:
  • Child has been abandoned and there are no family/ friends options
  • Parents are deceased and there are no family/friends options
  • Parents are in prison and there are no family/friends options
  • Parents in hospital and no family and friend options
  • Child whose welfare and development can only be safeguarded through provision of accommodation outside of the family/friend network
  • Child is beyond parental control and there are no family/friends options
  • Meets criteria for secure accommodation
  • Child remanded to Local Authority care/custody
  • Unaccompanied asylum seeking children who require accommodation
  • Eligible & Relevant Care Leavers
  • Children and young people whose adoption placement has broken down and there is no family or friend options.
This section is under development
This section is under development 
This section is under development  
This section is under development 
Non-compliant behaviour; involves proactively sabotaging efforts to bring about change or alternatively passively disengaging.
Disguised compliance; involves clients not admitting to their lack of commitment to change but working subversively to undermine the process.
This section is under development  
This section is under development 
 This section is under development 
A private fostering arrangement is essentially one that is made without the involvement of a Local Authority for the care of a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative for 28 days or more. Privately fostered children are a diverse and sometimes vulnerable group which includes:
  • Children sent from abroad to stay with another family, usually to improve their educational opportunities;
  • Asylum-seeking and refugee children;
  • Teenagers who, having broken ties with their parents, are staying in short-term arrangements with friends or other non-relatives;
  • Language students living with host families.

Under the Children Act 1989, private foster carers and those with Parental Responsibility are required to notify the local authority of their intention to privately foster or to have a child privately fostered, or where a child is privately fostered in an emergency.