Information for children and young people

Hello and welcome to the new Darlington Safeguarding Partnership! 

What is the new Darlington Safeguarding Partnership?

Hello and welcome to the new Darlington Safeguarding Partnership and our new website. Our job is to make sure that Darlington is a safe place for children, young people and adults to live.  

 How do we do this?

We make sure that all people who work to protect children and adults, such as doctors and nurses, the police, teachers and social workers all work together to make sure that children and adults who need help are safe and given support.  We have meetings where we make sure that everyone is doing things properly and that children, young people and adults in Darlington are safe.

 We would like to hear from you!

To do our job properly we need to know what you think. What can we do to keep children and adults safe, do you have any ideas? What are you worried about? Do you have any questions? You can contact us at any time by e mail  with your ideas.

 What do I do if I need help?

If you are worried about yourself or another child who is being harmed you can contact the Children’s Access Point on 01325 406222 or if you prefer you can contact Childline on 0800 1111 and this call will be free.

 Your ideas are important to us!

Here is lots more information for children and young people. We would like to know what you think about our website and if you have any ideas about what you would like to see on our website or any questions please let us know. You can send an e mail to or you can contact Marian on 01325 406451.  


Young Peoples Conference 2019

The fourth Young People's Conference took place on 2nd July 2019 at Darlington College. Thirty seven pupils from six secondary schools in Darlington attended the event, which aimed to engage with the young people and improve their understanding of safeguarding issues which may be relevant to them.

There were two workshops. The themes included Internet Safety-the perceptions and consequences of sexting, presented by Mike Clark and Colin Gibson at Mike C:The Box and risk taking behaviour associated with alcohol and drugs, presented by Sarah Norman, Drug Intervention Co-ordinator at Durham Constabulary. The aim of the workshops was to educate young people, so they are empowered to make their own informed decisons.

A survey taken at the end of the day told us that 91% of those who attended had enjoyed the day and that 93% had learned something new to take back to school and share with their friends and other pupils.

The young people will now take the learning back into their schools to raise awareness of the issues and will report to us later in the year about how they shared the learning within their school. There will be a prize for the school which can show the best delivery and impact of the learning in the school. Watch this space!          

Young Peoples Conference 2018-Competition Winners!

The Young People's Conference took place in July 2018 at Darlington College. Over sixty pupils from seven secondary schools in Darlington attended the event which aimed to engage with the young people and improve their understanding of safeguarding issues which may be relevant to them. The workshop themes included digital awareness, emotional wellbeing, harm and resilience and online gaming and grooming.

In December 2018 five schools presented the learning from the conference to a panel which included the Independent Chair of DSCB and Board members. Polam Hall School and Haughton Academy were awarded joint first prize for expressing the best learning form the conference. The prize chosen by pupils was a visit to the schools by Durham Constabulary Police Interceptors.

The standard of presentations was very high, the panel had a difficult task in choosing the winner. All of the presentations were highly impactive and all pupils who participated have received Vue Cinema gift vouchers in recognition of their work in ensuring that the learning from the conference is embedded in the ethos of the schools.

Click here to see the joint winning presentation delivered by Amber Fenwick, Benjamin Wilkinson and Jamie Crook from Polam Hall School and a poem written and performed by Jamie Crook.

Click here to see the joint winning presentation delivered by Maisie Briggs, Lexi Hickson, Jayden Bailey and Kayla Price from Haughton Academy.

Well done to all pupils who took part in the presentations.   

Child Sexual Exploitation

What is child sexual exploitation?

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of child abuse. It happens when a young person is encouraged, or forced, to take part in sexual activity in exchange for something. Child sexual exploitation involves others getting children or young people to do sexual favours either for themselves, or other people, and this might include being encouraged or forced into having sex, watching others have sex or being touched. 


Say Something- Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Campaign

There is a helpline that has been provided by a national charity 'Missing People'. This helpline allows you to talk to someone about the issues or the questions that you may have about CSE. They are a team of trained staff and volunteers that are there for you 24/7, completely anonymous and free. To contact them simply call or text 116000. 

Safeguarding Information and Advice

National Guidance

The Children's Commissioner has published the following leaflets for Children and Young People about how agencies will work together to keep them safe.

Young Persons Guide to Working Together to Safeguard Children [External Link]

Young Persons Guide to Keeping Children Safe [External Link]


Possible signs of grooming and CSE

  • Using drugs/alcohol
  • Displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour, such as dressing in a sexualised manner
  • Sending sexualised images by mobile phone "sexting"
  • Unexplained physical harm, like bruises and cigarette burns
  • Unexplained gifts or possessions

You can find out more information including the possible signs of CSE by visiting the NHS Website [External Link].


Where can you find help?

ERASE is a website (Educate and Raise Awareness of Sexual Exploitation) where you can find lots of advice on Sexual Exploitation. The website can be found at [External Link].

Being in a relationship and thinking about having a sexual relationship is normal, but sexual exploitation is not normal and is a form of abuse.

If you are worried for yourself or a friend, please talk to an adult you trust. Remember: if you are in any danger or feel unsafe, get in contact with the police immediately on 999.

If you would like to talk to someone in confidence you can contact ChildLine [External Link]– You can call them free on 0800 1111 and this number won’t appear on a telephone bill. Available 24 hours a day.

You can find out more about sexual exploitation by visiting the Barnado's website [External Link].

If you have concerns about a child's welfare you can also contact Children’s Social Care. 
Here are their telephone numbers:
  • County Durham ​03000 267979
  • Darlington 01325 406222


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Water Safety

Water can be a hazard for children and teenagers if precautions are not taken. The RNLI Respect the Water Campaign provides information on how to keep yourself and others safe near water.


You should:

  • Be aware of the dangers
  • Know your limits and don't take risks
  • Go with your mates but watch their backs
  • Make sure your phone is charged, so you can call for help.

For further information visit the RNLI website.

RNLI Respect the Water Campaign [External Link]

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Drug Addiction

What is drug addiction?

To put it simply drug addiction is the state in which a person becomes addicted to drugs. The first time that you decide to take drugs may be voluntarily however repeated use of them can lead to a person losing their self control and the inability to make to make ration decisions, in fact they will use all types of irrational thoughts in order to justify their behavior thus meaning that the addict often is willing to believe everything but the drug abuse is the reason for their abuse. Illegal drugs which (there are many of) as they can cause damage to your heart and your circulatory system. A few examples of illegal drugs include Heroin, Cocaine, Ecstasy and LSD. Illegal drugs have been put into 3 different classifications, these being 'Class A' , 'Class B' and 'Class C'. They are in order of being the most dangerous (Class A). 


Where can you find help?

A website called 'Talk to Frank' is where you can find a lot of advice/guidance about drug addiction and overcoming it. The website can be found at [External Link], You can also text message them on 82111, ring Talk to Frank on 0300 123 660 email them or by clicking here [External Link]. Finally, you can live chat with someone, you will find this at [External Link]. FRANK is on hand to give you some confidential advice.  

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Frank logo


SWITCH is the young people’s substance misuse team based in Darlington.

The purpose of the service is to help young people who are misusing, or at risk of misusing drugs and alcohol. Our aim is to offer information, education and practical support. Young people, family or professionals can access and refer into the team through the confidential secure e-mail address

The team is child/family focused and works flexibly and creatively to overcome problems associated with substance misuse. We provide a holistic approach which centres on the health and well-being of young people.

For further information please contact the SWITCH team on

FREEPHONE  0800 862 0987 or text 07590 442 804

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Switch logo


What is bullying?

Bully is where the kids who bully use their power, this could be physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or even a large group of people in order to control or harm another child. Bullying is repeated/has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. 

The 4 types of bullying

  1. Physical bullying is where a person does something to purposely harm you or your belongings.
  2. Verbal bullying is where a person says some really hurtful things to you.
  3. Social bullying often involves a person not allowing someone to join something or denying you from being a part of a particular group.
  4. Cyberbullying often involves someone spreading mean words, lies, and even false rumors online or simply using technology to simply annoy a person.

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A short video that briefly describes some of the statistics of bullying made by [External Link].


Physical Bullying

What is Physical Bullying?

Physical bullying is when one person or a group of people picks on another individual, this is done face to face. Some examples of this consists of hitting, pushing or stealing/destroying a person's items such as books, clothing or lunch money. It can range from a slight action every so often (the aim of this is to demean the person over a short period of time) to a chain of violent and direct actions to hurt the person on purpose quickly. 

Possible signs of Physical Bullying

  • Coming home with bruises, cuts (unexplained injuries)
  • Skipping particular classes
  • Saying they feel picked on
  • Talking about either violent actions towards other or talking about suicide
  • Separating themselves from a group

For more possible signs please visit the Bullying Statistics website [External Link].

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Verbal Bullying

What is Verbal Bullying?

It is common for people to hear some form of verbal bullying (being called names or insulted) at some point in their lives. Many young people hear insults on a daily basis whether they are in school at the time or not. Verbal bullying is when an person uses words to gain power over his or her peers, a few examples of this are things such as name-calling, hurtful comments or in some extremes you may receive threats. Verbal Bullying is harder to detect as there are no visible marks that can be linked towards bullying. It also doesn't usually occur when adults are around to stop it and the effects of it are not clear. Verbal bullying is more subtle and takes long periods of time. This destroys a child’s self image and self respect. This can lead to depression, anxiety and many other problems. 



An interactive anti-bullying video created by BullyingUK [External Link]. 


Social Bullying

What is Social Bullying?

Social bullying also known as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. An example of this form of bullying is telling another child not to be friends with someone. Social bullying also includes spreading rumours about another person, leaving someone out of an activity/group on purpose or embarrassing a person in public. 

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What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is when a person or a group of people bully a different individual using technology, this could be using the Internet such as Social Media, mobile phones or even through a games console. Their intention is to either make someone upset, feel threatened, make fun of someone or embarrass someone. People can also get death threats by bullies online also. Often cyberbullying is not a single message. With social media sites and messaging apps anything that is posted about you can be seen by lots of people, these posts can start trending/going viral very quickly. If a person posts things that is not true and does this with the intention of causing someone harm this can be classed as harassment. 

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Bullying: Where can you find help?

If you have done everything you can to try to resolve the situation and nothing has worked there are ways to get help, such as: 

Talking to a trusted friend about what is going on can help release some of the stress you may have. They may have had the same problem and can understand what you are going through. Talking to any adult that you feel comfortable talking to such as:

  • Parent
  • Teacher
  • Community leader
  • School nurse

Family Lives has a free (from landlines and most mobiles) confidential helpline that allows you to contact them if you need guidance, advice or support with family life (including bullying). Their helpline service is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday. Their number is 0808 800 2222 and for more information visit their website [External Link]. They also have a Skype service where you can call them (this is free and confidential). You need to create a Skype account, once your account has been created open the Skype dialler and call 0808 800 2222 and then press the green call button. This will connect you to their helpline. 

If you don't want to file a report about someone being cyberbullied you could always talk to someone in confidence (ChildLine) as it is available 24 hours a day.You can call them free on 0800 1111 and this number won’t appear on a telephone bill. You can also contact ChildLine through emails, all you need to do is to sign up to Childline. This process is very easy and you don't need to give your email address or your real name, so this is very confidential. You can talk to a '1-2-1'counsellor chat and this is once again private, so nobody else can view the chat but ChildLine. 

You can call 999 if there has been a crime or someone is at immediate risk of harm. 

Cyberbullying can create a disruptive environment at school. The school can use the information of cyberbullying to help inform prevention and response strategies to it.

There is a website that is a command of the UK's NCA (National Crime Agency) named CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) this is where you can report the potential online abuse and talk to one of CEOP's experienced Child Protection Advisors. This website can be found at [External Link]. 

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Young Mind's Videos

Useful videos to support young people to gain control over what you think and feel by looking at simple changes to your lifestyle. 


Young Minds logo

What's worrying you

This is a short video that is centered around Jack's Bullying Story. He talks about how bullying and how it has affected his everyday life. 


Eat well, feel better

This video looks at the link between what you eat and how you feel. Improving your diet can help give you:

- positive feelings
- clearer thinking
- more energy
- calmer moods


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No Harm Done

Short video aimed at young people to help them understand self harm. 

'No Harm Done’ is a response to the powerful cry for help from young people, parents and professionals who have told us just how difficult dealing with self-harm is and how they can recover from it. 




Are you a child who has come to the UK from another country?

The NSPCC’s Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC) [external link] has produced a series of leaflets for children who have come to the UK from another country.

Each leaflet explains:

  • what words like “refugee”, “asylum seeker” and “trafficking” mean
  • what help is available for children who have come to the UK from another country
  • who to ask for help
  • how to ask for help.

The leaflet is available in 12 different languages. To access the leaflets please visit the NSPCC Learning website [external link]