Schools are well placed to model positive relationships.
• They can provide the space to think about how we make and maintain healthy relationships. Importantly school can also help pupils identify those relationships that are unhealthy, and how they can seek help.
All relationships should be built on trust, respect and good communication.
• School culture can encompass this by valuing kindness, inclusivity and taking responsibility for own actions.
• Schools can model positive relationships, and help children manage conflict in their friendship groups in a healthy way.
Helping children and young people build self-esteem and resilience is important.
• When children and young people recognise their self worth they will be less vulnerable to controlling and abusive friendships and other relationships.
Not all children will have the invaluable experience of being around healthy relationships.
• Children need to understand the difference between good and bad relationships
Childline have resources to help young people. This includes guidance on making a safety plan and a form to document it on.
• Young people are vulnerable to embarking on abusive relationships as both victim or perpetrator. In 2009 an NSPCC survey found that 25% of girls age 13-17 described abuse from an intimate partner.
There are additional complications for young people today. The dawn of smart phones and social media enables positive social connections. They also bring new risks and challenges like sexting, cyberbullying and contact by strangers.
• Young people need to be able to talk about these challenges openly so that they can understand risk and know when to seek advice. You can find out more about online safety *here*.
As children grow they need increased information about how to keep safe in intimate relationships.
• Children and young people need to understand consent and how to be confident to say no at any time and share when they feel worried or uncomfortable. There is guidance on this *here*.
Preparing young people to keep themselves safe both physically and emotionally as they embark on intimate relationships is an important role of those working with this group.
• Professionals need to consider Gillick Competency and Fraser Guidelines to be sure young people have the capacity to consent
• If you become aware that a young person aged under 13 is sexually active it is always a safeguarding concern and needs referral and assessment by children’s services (Sexual Offences Act 2003)
• Young people need to understand safe sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy - Brook (who provide sexual health and wellbeing advice for under 25s) have information on this and accessing local services *here*.
Schools need to be mindful of gender, culture and religious beliefs that may impact on how children and young people fee. They may need extra help to access advice and support on intimate relationships. If young people have competency they should be able to decide for themselves what information and advice is relevant to them.
How Can We Help?
Just One Norfolk Access the health advice website to explore a variety of health issues. This website is consistently being reviewed and updated.
Parent Activation Measure This helps parents think about their knowledge skills and confidence in understanding and supporting their children or unborn babies.
Just One Number Call to speak to a health professional by phoning 0300 300 0123. They will be able to provide initial advice and support and guide next steps with us or signpost you to other more relevant agencies and professionals. It is available 08.00 to 18.00 Monday to Friday and 09.00 to 13.00 on Saturdays
ChatHealth Children and Young people can access us through our text messaging service on 07480635060. They will be able to discuss any health concerns with one of our Practitioners and also be able to request an appointment if they would prefer to meet with us.
Parent Line Parents can access our services by texting our number 07520631590 . This allows them to access the advice and support from a clinician about any health issues affecting their children aged 0-19.
JustOneNorfolk Health Passport app Young people age 16-19 can download this app on apple or android phones. It provides young people age 16-19 with general health information and advice to increase health literacy. It signposts to services and promotes self care. It aims to increase resilience and wellbeing and to find out how to access health services.
Health Unlocked Parents can be signposted to this. It is a carefully monitored online community forum which allows local parents and carers to talk with each other regarding issues affecting their children. This can be accessed through our Just One Norfolk website.
Solihull Parenting Online For our Norfolk parents there is the opportunity to access this free of charge through JustOneNorfolk. It supports parents in understanding their children from 0-19 via 4 modules.
Staff working with children and families will also benefit from this – or they can book to do the two day Solihull Training by contacting provided by our service. **(link to booking)