The Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership

Children & Young People

Welcome to the children and young people pages


If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

The Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership’s purpose is to ensure that all the agencies in Barnet who work with children and young people work together in their efforts to keep you safe and help you to do well.

The adults who look after you at home or at school or adults who you may meet whether, you are ill or needing help or involved in sport, music or other fun activities or in a faith organisation  have a duty to protect you from harm and keep you safe. This applies to your parents or carers, your teachers, faith leaders, police officers, doctors and sport coaches.

We have included some tips and information on issues that affect children and young people. We want all children and young people in Barnet to have happy, safe lives, remember there is always help available if you need it. No young person should suffer alone with the thoughts of suicide.

PAPYRUS aims to create suicide safer communities and one of the ways they do this is through their helpline, HOPELINEUK.

PapyrusIf you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or needs to debrief after a conversation around suicide, please contact HOPELINEUK for free and confidential support and guidance.  Call 0800 068 4141 Text 07860 039961 Email

 Also see resources to support with conversations you may have with young people. Download the Communicating with young people guide and watch the Sinking Feeling video  

 Also social media links available below to share with your networks, parents and young people  

Worried about yourself or a friend

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

If you are worried about yourself, your brother, sister or a friend then it is important to speak to someone you can trust. This person could be your parent(s), your carer, a friend or a teacher at school.

It is good to talk and can help you feel less alone. It is important to remember that sometimes what may be happening to you or another child may mean that they can't keep it a secret and need to tell someone else to make sure that you are kept safe and that what is happening stops.

You can also contact the MASH team. The MASH is a team that are there to help you and make sure that you are protected and get the right help that you need. Where they need to they will share information with other professionals like the police, your doctor and other areas to make sure that you are looked after and protected. This will be discussed with you. You can contact the MASH by phone, email and also face to face.


Telephone: 020 8359 4066

Address: 2 Bristol Avenue, Colindale, London NW9 4EW

Walk-in: Children and families can walk in to Barnet Council and ask to see a children's social worker any time Monday-Friday between 9am-5pm.

Abuse is always wrong, and isn't something that is ever your fault or that you deserve, no matter how many times it happens. There can be lots of different types of abuse, and it is your right to be safe and feel safe at all times.

The Childline website has more information on this. You can also call Childline on 0800 1111 and it won't show up on your telephone bill, they also have a confidentiality promise which means that what you tell them will be a secret. You can also talk to them online using the chat system and by email.

Worried about an adult who works with children

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What it is

This is the Allegations Alligator, he has some advice on what to do if there is an adult who you have contact with that makes you feel unsafe.

You will not be in any trouble and someone will help you understand what is going on

Who is the LADO?

The LADO is someone who is there to help sort things out to make sure children are safe. They will ask for information about the allegation and decide how serious it is. If it is very serious the police or a social worker may need to be involved. Less serious concerns can be sorted out by the place where the person works.

Allegations Alligator

What to do

If you are worried about the way an adult who works with you is behaving you can do the following:

  • Tell your parent or carer
  • Talk to another adult who you trust
  • Tell another adult who works in the same place.

What will happen next?

Concerns raised by a child or young person are sometimes called an allegation. Allegations should be taken seriously and listened to. Usually someone important will need to be told about what you have said and will decide what to do to help. For example in a school this might be the head teacher. They will decide if they need to contact someone called the LADO. 

Who will talk to me about the allegation?

Someone will need to ask you more about what has happened and the LADO will make sure you know who this is. You should be told how long it will take to sort things out and what happened in the end. Adults will work together to make sure that whatever made you feel unsafe or uncomfortable does not happen again.

Youth homelessness

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

Being and becoming homeless can be a frightening and stressful time, if this is happening to you or a friend then we are here to help you.

Barnet Council together with Barnet Homes are here to support young people who are homeless. If you, or someone you know is 16 or 17 years old and either homeless or at risk of homelessness, this leaflet lets you know who to contact for support and what to expect. The leaflet was co-designed alongside young people with lived exeprience of housing and homelessness difficulties. 

You can find our leaflet here 

How to contact us:

You can contact us in any of the following ways:

Visit our office: 2 Bristol Avenue, Colindale, London NW9 4EW  / 

Phone:  020 8610 3539 (Open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday).  Outside of these hours, if it’s an emergency you can call 020 8359 2000.

For more information see the Barnet Homes website.

Below are some websites that can also provide support and advice:




Feelings and identity

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999


What they are

Talking about how we feel can be difficult and sometimes be the last thing we want to do. Understanding how we feel and why we feel certain ways can be seem complicated but it doesn’t need to be. Quite often just speaking about how we feel can help make things seem clearer and make more sense.

By learning to be resilient we increase our ability to cope with certain emotions in a much more positive way.

What to do

Kooth is a great website for children and young people where you can speak to experienced counsellors in a safe place online.


What it is

Young people can often find it difficult to understand and reveal their sexual orientation and identity to friends and family, and we understand that this can be a hugely confusing time. Below are some really helpful websites offering support and guidance:

Mental health and emotional wellbeing

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What it is

Emotional wellbeing means a lot of different things, for example:

  • Being happy and confident and not anxious or depressed
  • Being able to do things for yourself and solve problems
  • Being able to manage your emotions and trying to feel what a situation is like
  • Being resilient and noticing what is happening around you
  • Having good relationships with others
  • Not having behavioural problems, that is, not being disruptive, violent or a bully.

Emotional wellbeing means you will be able to cope with some of the pressures that come with being a young person as you grow up and you will be able to develop the personal skills you need to get on in life.

However, there are lots of reasons why some young people become emotionally unwell, for example, experiencing abuse, having poor relationships with people that are close to them, struggling to get on with people at school, living in very poor home conditions.  Poor emotional health can lead to problems later in life.

Just as we all have physical health, we have mental health too. And just as our bodies can become unwell, so can our minds. Like physical illness, mental illness affects people of any age, race, religion or income.

Did you know?  1 in 10 young people experience mental health problems

time to chnage

What to do

There are lots of simple, everyday ways you can support someone who has a mental health problem. Small things can make a big difference, like being there to listen, keeping in touch and reminding the other person that you care.  This poster has been produced by Time to Change as a reminder how you can help. For more information and lots of resources, visit the Time to Change website.

Time to Change have also produced this fun way to start a conversation.  Download the template and have a go.

Young Minds have also got lots of useful information on common mental health problems and tips for children and young people about how to make a few changes in order to feel better.

In Barnet, there are different agencies that can provide support for children and young people who may poor emotional health or who are worried about their mental health. These include:

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust provide mental health support for children and young people. 

KOOTH is confidential online counselling for Barnet Young People 11-19 year olds.

Young Barnet Foundation gives information on local charities that can offer support and advice to young people and families on emotional wellbeing.


If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

The information on this page has come from the Mind website,  you can visit their website for further information.

What it is

Self-harm is when you hurt yourself as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings, painful memories or overwhelming situations and experiences. Some people have described self-harm as a way to:

  • Express something that is hard to put into words
  • Turn invisible thoughts or feelings into something visible
  • Change emotional pain into physical pain
  • Reduce overwhelming emotional feelings or thoughts
  • Have a sense of being in control
  • Escape traumatic memories
  • Have something in life that they can rely on
  • Punish yourself for your feelings and experiences
  • Stop feeling numb, disconnected or dissociated (see dissociative disorders)
  • Create a reason to physically care for themselves
  • Express suicidal feelings and thoughts without taking their own life.

What to do

There are many things you can do to get support and help, you don't have to face this alone. Below are some recommendations and websites that will help you.

  • Speak to your GP: they will be understanding and will advise you of different treatment and support options.
  • Speak to your parents, teacher or someone you trust. Talking about things can really help.
  • Online support groups and websites. These are listed below and have some really helpful information on treatment and support.

The National Self Harm Network 

Self Injury Support

Life Signs

The Mix 


Click here for guidance from Mind on self-harm and what to do if you are worried about yourself or someone else.


If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What it is

If you are being bullied it isn't your fault. Bullying can happen to anyone at any age and isn't just restricted to school, it can happen at home, online and in public places. Bullying is when someone or a group of people do or say things that upset you, hurt you and make you feel frightened or bad about yourself. These can include:

  • Calling you names
  • Teasing
  • Speaking about you to other people
  • Hitting and kicking you
  • Taking your money and other things that belong to you
  • Writing things about you on social media
  • Taking friends away
  • Threats and intimidation.

What to do

If this is happening to you or someone you know then you need to tell an adult like a parent or teacher so that they can help you. Being bullied is nothing to be ashamed about and keeping it a secret only protects the bullies, by telling someone you are protecting yourself and stopping it happening to someone else in the future.

Cyber bullying

What it is

This is when someone or a group upset or humiliate you using the internet, online games, email, apps, social media, or text. It is the same as any other form of bullying but you don't always know who is doing it.

What to do

  • If you get any nasty comments or messages take a screen shot immediately and show it to a parent or teacher
  • You can report online bullies by pressing the CEOP button that is on most websites
  • Immediately block anyone who bullies you online. Even if you know the person, if they start being unkind to you then block them and report them to the website
  • Always make sure your profile is safe and you have used the privacy settings so only people you know can see your posts

Below are some good sites and helplines if you need someone to talk to:

Kidscape provide children, families and professionals with advice and information to keep children safe.

ChildLine website or free phone 0800 1111.

Staying safe online

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

Top tips for staying safe online:

  • Don’t post any personal information online – like your address, email address or mobile number
  • Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself.  Once you’ve put a picture of yourself online most people can see it and may be able to download it, it’s not just yours anymore
  • Keep your privacy settings as high as possible
  • Never give out your passwords
  • Don’t befriend people you don’t know
  • Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online. Speak to your parent or carer about people suggesting you do
  • Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are
  • Think carefully about what you say before you post something online
  • Respect other people’s views, even if you don’t agree with someone else’s views doesn’t mean you need to be rude
  • If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: leave the website, turn off your computer if you want to and tell a trusted adult immediately.

These tips were provided by Safety Net Kids. They have more tips on their website.


If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What it is

Neglect is when you're not being looked after or cared for properly. There are some things that we feel all children and young people need and deserve, like food, drink, and to feel safe. Other things we think you should have are clean clothes and a clean home, being taken to the doctors when you're ill and being allowed to have an education. Adults in your life who look after you should be making sure you have all of these things.

If the adults in your life aren't providing these basic things that you need then that could be neglect.

What to do

Talking to someone if you feel you are being neglected is really important. You should talk to someone you trust like:

  • Friend
  • Teacher
  • Doctor
  • Youth worker
  • Social worker.

You won't get into any trouble and sometimes talking to someone can make you feel better and think about whether the problem is big or small.

If you feel that you don't want to talk to anyone you know about what's happening or are too scared, you can always talk to a Childline counsellor or call them for free on 0800 1111.

You can also go to the Childline website.


If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What it is

When adults and the police talk about someone missing, they mean: “anyone whose whereabouts is unknown whatever the circumstances of disappearance. They will be considered missing until located and their well-being or otherwise established”. This means if the police don’t know where someone is they will be known as missing until they know for certain what has happened.

You may not plan to run away from home or care. Sometimes it can be a last-minute decision which may result in you not being prepared, leaving with no money, no phone or warm clothes and may have no idea about where you might get help.

When a child or young person goes missing their family and those caring for them will be worried about them. Usually, a family member or carer will contact the police and let them know what has happened. Sometimes the police may search friends’ homes, local parks and areas where the person is known to visit. Checks on the person’s mobile phone and social media may also be carried out to locate them.

All of this is done because everyone is worried about the missing person and it is important to make sure they are safe and well and no harm has come to them. 

When a missing young person returns home or into care Barnet social care will offer them an independent return home interview. This sounds formal but looks at it as a conversation where the young person is given a chance to talk to about the time they were reported missing.

What to do if you are worried

If things are really bad at home or in care and you are thinking of running away or have already run away, always talk to an adult you trust or the police. They may be able to help you work out the problems and provide support. It is most important that you get support and someone who will keep you safe.

If you are in immediate danger please call the police on 999 straight away. Please also tell an adult you trust who will be able to help you.

The following organisations offer advice and support:

ChildLine are available to phone 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or you can chat online or email them.

Runaway Helpline can help you if you are thinking of running away or know someone who is missing. You can chat with someone 1-2-1, call for free, text for free or email.

Homeless young people, aged 16-25, can stay with Centrepoint for up to two years, and Centrepoint will support you to live independently. 


If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What it is

A gang can be a group of friends who hang around together. However some gangs are involved in offending and crime. Sometimes gangs are violent and carry weapons, sometimes they fight other gangs. Some young people are forced to join a gang and forced to commit crimes. If you feel you are being forced or someone you know is then you should tell someone at home or in your school about it. You can also call ChildLine on 0800 111.

Why do people join gangs?

Young people may join gangs for different reasons including:

  • To feel they belong to their local group
  • Sharing same hobbies and identity
  • To feel respected and with status
  • To protect themselves from other local gangs/groups
  • To gain some money (illicit through drugs or money from crime or drugs
  • Gaining status and feeling powerful.

Hanging out with your friends can be a good way to get to know each other and share hobbies and interests. But it can become dangerous if you join a gang that does illegal things like theft or gun and knife crime.

You don't have to join a gang if you don't feel comfortable or sure about things.

I want out!

Leaving a gang can depend on how involved you have been in it. It’s not always easy. But it’s possible to leave safely if the right steps and support are taken.

  • Speak to your family or someone you trust about your concerns and your intentions to leave
  • Decide the best way to leave the gang in a safe manner
  • Keep yourself busy with positive activities (your mates will love to see you succeed)
  • Access local charities and organisations that can support you
  • Contact Barnet Family Services for further advice.

The law

Some gangs are involved in crime, drugs, violence and other illegal activities. If you're part of a gang like this it can be dangerous.

It can also mean being:

  • Controlled by older members of the gang
  • Given money or things you like but this could easily change and you might be treated differently
  • Threatened or forced to do things you don't want to do
  • Worried about your safety and the safety of your family or friends
  • Worried about fights with other gangs.
  • It is important to think about your future and how being in a gang can affect your life. For example, not being able to finish school or college, not being able to get a job and not being able to ever feel safe.

If you want to report a crime or talk about something illegal that has happened, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What it is

Radicalisation is the process where someone is exploited to adopt extreme political, social or religious ideals and aspirations. It is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups and activity. Terrorism is when someone, or a group of people use acts of violence to create fear in order to further their agenda.

Radicalisation can happen anywhere, by anyone, however one of the most common places is on social media.  You might find that strangers are taking an interest in what you have been messaging or videos you have been watching or made comments on. They may ask about your views on certain things, especially religion, politics or immigration. Someone who is radicalising you might appear to be befriending you, speaking about common likes and dislikes, this may happen to you or someone you know.

Having extreme thoughts or beliefs is not a crime, using unlawful force or threats to support a belief or ideology is a crime.

What to do

Some groups in the UK have been ruled to be illegal because they promoted violence, committed or participated in acts of terrorism, prepared for terrorism, promoted or encouraged terrorism (including glorification of terrorism and terrorist acts) or is otherwise concerned in terrorism.  This is known as proscription, National Action were one such group banned after they glorified in the murder of British Member of Parliament Jo Cox and promoted violence and terrorism. To be a member of, to raise money for or to promote such a group is a criminal offence and can result in someone being convicted and getting a criminal record.  This may affect their employment prospects later in life.  For more information about groups that have been proscribed please see here.

Possessing information for terrorist purposes (this includes having manuals about making explosives, which can be in any form, written, photographic or electronic), dissemination of terrorist publications (distribution, circulation, giving, selling, lending or otherwise making available such publications, in any form), failing to disclose information which a person knows or believes might be of material assistance in preventing an act of terrorism and repeated viewing of terrorist content online are all criminal acts and you may be prosecuted and sent to prison.

Any kind of terrorism is wrong. 

Is someone you know acting out of character,  changing the way they dress or have a new group of friends while losing contact with existing networks.  Have they been showing sympathy for extremist causes, glorifying violence or possessing extremist literature.  Have you heard them talk about, illegal organisations such as Muslims Against Crusades, ISIS, or other extremist groups such as the English Defence League?  If so, information about who to contact to report a concern is listed below.

If you witness something which makes you think that someone may be involved in preparing for, or involved in terrorist activity, you can report it on-line. Counter Terrorism Policing or Act Campaign, or by calling the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.

Or call ChildLine to speak to a counsellor on 0800 1111.

For more information about any of these issues and for further advice visit Childnet or the NSPCC.

Relationship abuse

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What it is

Most relationships are healthy and safe, and our parents or carers, extended family, boyfriends, girlfriends and friends want the best for us and treat us well. However sometimes this isn't the case.

Relationship abuse

Relationship (domestic) abuse is when someone hurts, threatens or makes you feel scared or uncomfortable. It isn't just physical violence but any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship and includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse.

Abuse is not normal and never ok regardless of how old you are. If you are in a relationship with someone, you should feel loved, safe, respected and free to be yourself. There are different forms of abuse and for more information and to find out where to get help visit Disrespect Nobody.

Remember it's not your fault and it is important to talk about it with someone you trust.

Has anyone given you money, drugs, alcohol or gifts and somewhere to stay and then forced you to:

  • Have sex with them?
  • Do something sexual to them?
  • Be touched inappropriately, in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable?
  • Look at sexual images?
  • Watch them do something sexual?

What to do

Visit the child sexual exploitation page for more information. 

Child sexual exploitation

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What it is

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse. It occurs where anyone under the age of 18 is persuaded, coerced or forced into sexual activity in exchange for, amongst other things, money, drugs/alcohol, gifts, affection or status. Consent is irrelevant, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and may occur online.

Children are often groomed for future sexual exploitation and it can occur through the use of technology without immediate recognition. A common example is being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones.

In all CSE cases, persons exploiting the child/young person have power over them in several ways including their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources.

Violence, forcing, bullying and intimidation are common grooming behaviours used to persuade vulnerable people to partake in activities.

For more information, see Greg's story from Barnardo's.

Barnardo\'s video screen

What to do if you are worried

Click here to watch a video on recognising some of the signs of sexual exploitation and the dangers of making friends online. There is some guidance here on how to keep you and your friends safe from exploitation.

If you are worried about anything, speak to a trusted adult or professional e.g. a teacher, youth leader, health professional who will help you sort the problem out. They may need to refer you to other professionals such as a social worker or the police.

Alternatively ChildLine are available to phone 24 hours a day or you can chat online or email them.  

CEOP is here to keep children safe from sexual abuse and grooming online.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What is FGM?

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision or female genital cutting, is "all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons".

Girls are at particular risk of FGM during the school summer holidays as this is the time when families may take their children abroad for the procedure. Many girls may be at risk of undergoing FGM.

Religious, social or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM. However, FGM is child abuse. It's dangerous and a criminal offence.

There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM. It doesn't enhance fertility and it doesn't make childbirth safer. It is used to control female sexuality and can cause severe and long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health.

What to do if you are worried?

If you suspect that someone you know is at risk of being subjected to any form of FGM, you should take action and report it immediately. Time is of the essence, so please act as soon as you suspect that a girl may be at risk.

There are adults who can help so it is important to tell someone you trust so they can take steps to protect you or the person you are worried about. You can speak to a social worker who will listen to your concerns and work with other professionals to promote your safety.

Contact the MASH Team on 020 8359 4066 to speak to a social worker or email

Other support

If you want to speak to someone else or just find out more below are some helpful websites:

NSPCC information page about FGM

The Orchid Project

Talk Pants

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What it is

Talk Pants is a campaign run by the NSPCC. Talking Pants teaches you important messages, like your body belongs to you and you should tell an adult if you are upset or worried.

underwear rule page 1

Click here for more information on Talk Pants and the underwear rule. 

Young carers

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

What is a young carer?

A young carer is a young person who gives regular care and emotional support to a parent, brother, or sister, or someone else in the family.

There are many reasons why young people do this caring:

  • The person they care for may have physical disabilities
  • The person could have learning difficulties
  • The person may have mental health problems, for example being depressed
  • The person may have a problem with alcohol or drugs.

Being a young carer isn't all about hard work. Many young carers say how proud they are to be carers. However, sometimes it can be hard for a young carer to find time to relax, away from home

What you can do

Barnet Young Carers project has friendly, helpful workers who are there to offer support and advice to any young carers in Barnet, aged from 5 to 18 years old.

You can find out more on their website

Clubs and outings

Barnet Young Carers run two free clubs, one for younger children, and one for teenagers, and they can arrange transport in a mini-bus to help you get to the clubs.

At the clubs, there are things to do, or you can just hang out and talk to the workers, or other young people. They also run trips out for the family, and day breaks. Young people can confidentially talk to a trained counsellor during BYCAS club days/nights.

School support

Barnet Young Carers has a schools worker who gives support in some schools in Barnet.

Sometimes it can be hard at school, especially if no-one knows that you are a carer. If you have problems with getting homework done, or you are being bullied, or even if you feel very lonely, it can help to talk to a teacher that you trust, or ask to speak to the school worker.

Know your rights

If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999

Your rights

Having an understanding of your rights puts you in control of your situation whatever it maybe. All children and young people have rights! However not all children and young people understand their rights and here we give you a small insight into your rights as a child or young person, so you can enjoy and achieve in life.

Your UN Convention Rights

Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, you have the right to:

  • express your point of view
  • receive information in a way that you can understand
  • good healthcare and to be looked after properly

Even if you don’t have many choices over what is happening in your life, you still have rights. Do not be afraid to express your views, ask questions and say what’s on your mind so we can help you put your rights into action.

Your human rights

Our human rights are the basic things we need in order to live with dignity and grow as people. Food, housing, care, health care and freedom from abuse and neglect are all rights. No matter who you are, how old you are or where you live you have these rights simply because you are human.

The UK Government has passed laws and agreed to follow human rights rules that mean:

  • you should be treated with respect at all times
  • you should be consulted whenever decisions are made about you
  • you should never be treated unfairly because of your ethnic origin, sex, any disabilities, your religion or beliefs, your sexual orientation or your transgender status.

How to use your rights

UK laws back up some of your rights but not all of them.

Your rights under the Human Rights Act are legally enforceable and must be followed as they are part of UK law. This means that they can be used to bring a case to court or to argue that something should be changed.

Your rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are not covered by law but should be used as a guide for how things should be. These can be used to argue your point if necessary.

The full list of your rights can be found here, and you can read more information on the Unicef website


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