The Practitioner Toolkit contains information and tools for issues arising in work with children, young people and families.
This page contains:
- resources on concerns which might arise while helping a child or family;
- organised by topics;
- linked to searches for local organisations which can support work around that topic.
Links to national services, helplines and information resources are also included.
Who can use these resources?
All resources on this page are free to use by anyone in Oxfordshire who has a concern about a child or family.
Are you referring a safeguarding concern in Oxfordshire? You may need to:
- Talk to your Locality Community & Support Service worker
- Use the Oxfordshire Multi-Agency Toolkit on the OSCB website
- Refer via the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub on the Oxfordshire County Council website.
Are Special Educational Needs and/or disability a factor?
The Oxfordshire Local Offer for Young People with Special Educational Needs (SEND Local Offer) provides access to comprehensive information for children, young people, parents and the professionals who support them about local provision and how to access it.
About this page
This page is informed by the LCSS teams and other multi-agency professionals within Oxfordshire.
Information listed includes information from third party providers and Oxfordshire County Council cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of the information nor does inclusion represent a recommendation or an endorsement.
Information on this page is intended for multiagency professionals, who are recommended to check that any organisations and services listed are appropriate and safe.
If you find errors, missing information, or would like something changed or added please contact us.
Click on the topic to expand the section:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can occur at any age. Symptoms include restlessness, hyperactivity, impulsivity and fearless and chaotic behaviour. ADHD can interfere with learning, parenting and the healthy development of the child and impact on siblings, friends and family members.
ADHD Together - tools to support mood management, anger control, time management and more - open bookmarks for full list
Mind Infoline 9am-6pm, Mon-Fri (except for bank holidays) 0300 123 3393 firstname.lastname@example.org
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful events occurring in childhood including: domestic violence; parental abandonment through separation or divorce; parent with a mental health condition; victim of abuse; victim of neglect (physical and emotional); a member of the household being in prison; and growing up in a household where adults experience alcohol and drug use problems.
When children are exposed to adverse and stressful experiences, it can have a long-lasting impact on their ability to think, interact with others and on their learning. Those who experience 4 or more ACEs are statistically more likely to suffer negative outcomes such as heart disease, imprisonment and health-harming behaviours like heavy drinking, and these can persist throughout adult life.
Preventing negative and traumatic childhood experiences wherever possible is key in reducing the impact of ACEs.
But, on an individual level, negative outcomes are not inevitable, even for those who suffer high levels of adversity, and much can be done to support resilience and recovery in children who have experienced ACEs.
Oxford Brain Story - videos, resources and more
Addressing Adversity from YoungMinds - book and poster/infographic
Adverse Childhood Experiences Outline from Iriss - overview of topic plus education-based interventions
Trauma informed teaching from the Teacher's Toolkit
To discuss whether a child/family might benefit from Early Help, please contact the Locality Community Support Service.
More local organisations which can help with Trauma in Oxfordshire.
Alcohol misuse can occur at any age, but harm is most serious to the individual’s health in a developing child, including adolescents, children and while the mother is pregnant.
Alcohol causes both short-term risk and long-term health damage, linked to the quantity and regularity of the misuse. Harm to the family, and damage to social and professional life can occur at any age and is linked to the seriousness of the alcohol misuse.
Alcohol Change (previously Alcohol Concern) Publications - use filters to access factsheets, research, tools and more
Identification and Brief Advice - the main tools including AUDIT, FAST with guidance
OSCB Parental Substance Misuse Toolkit (includes workbooks)
Alcohol misuse in families resources for children and family members of someone misusing alcohol from Alcohol Change (formerly Alcohol Concern)
Oxfordshire Turning Point / Roads to Recovery
Get help now from Alcohol Change – provides a useful list including Drinkline 0300 123 1110
Alcoholics Anonymous – helpline 0800 9177 650
Al-Anon Family Groups – helpline 0800 0086 811
Alcohol misuse support on the Family Information Service Directory
Most people feel angry at times, but when anger is interfering with life, schooling, employment and relationships, then the individual and their supporters may need support to improve behaviours.
The I Am? Book - copies are available from your local Children and Family Centre
Keep your Cool Toolbox - Short Videos about supporting children
Keep your Cool Kit - for older children, adults and adolescents
NHS Inform Anger Self Help Guide - formerly moodjuice
CALM - Campaign Against Living Miserably (for men in crisis) - 0800 58 58 58 5pm-midnight 36 days a year
Oxfordshire Mind lists crisis help available in Oxfordshire including Safe Haven, Samaritans
Young minds on Anger
What to do when your temper flares - Dawn Huebner, available from your local public library
Starving the Anger Gremlin - Kate Collins Donnelly
Anger management games for children - Deborah M. Plummer
Don't forget to search for organisations that can help with anger on the Family Information Service Directory
Anxiety involves feeling large amounts of unease, worry and fear. These natural, although painful emotions, become anxiety when they are felt often, or without a reason, or interfere with life, relationships and health.
AnxietyBC - Huge free-to-access resource bank including CARD Handouts an the My Anxiety Plan (MAP) Courses
Mindshift App - free app available on android and iphone.
No Panic's Resource Bank - quick self help, videos and more
Mind Stress and Anxiety Guides
Overcoming your Child's Fears and Worries by Cathy Creswell & Lucy Willetts (CAMHS recommended book)
Mind for adults and young people
No Panic - telephone and online services
Young Minds - anxiety factsheets and more for young people
No Panic Helpline - 0300 772 9844
Young Minds Parents Helpline and webchat
Although attachment can be applied more broadly, generally speaking it refers to the bond between a child and their primary caregiver. Attachment develops when a child is cared for and a caregiver consistently meets a child's needs. Attachment to a loving and protective caregiver who provides emotional warmth is very important to health development, especially in early years.
The Coventry Grid - ASD vs Attachment Problems by Heather Moran
Family Lives (formerly Parentline) 0808 800 2222 helpline and online chat
Attachment on the Oxfordshire Family Information Service Directory
School attendance is an important protective factor for children. Children should be attending education up until age 18, those aged 16-18 may also do work with training such as an apprenticeship or traineeship. Children being educated at home (EHE) should receive as much learning as children at school.
County Attendance Team pages on the Schools Intranet includes guidance, model policies, reintegration information, alternative provider list and more.
Oxfordshire School Inclusion Team - traded service to schools, free information on website
Attendance pages on the Oxfordshire County Council Website - Lateness, sickness, authorised and unauthorised absences and the consequences for parents.
School Attendance and Absence - overview for parents
Inclusion on the Family Information Service Directory
Autism, Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, but sometimes diagnosed later, involving difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.
The National Autistic Society - strategies, behaviour, communication and more
Autism Education Trust - Large site with sections for professionals, parents, teachers, young people with resources and more
Early Years SEN Team - Oxfordshire County Council
SENSS Communication and Interaction Support Service - Oxfordshire County Council
Schools would also normally receive advice and guidance from the a provider of Educational Psychology Services, such as the Oxfordshire County Council Educational Psychology Service.
Key Local Services
SENSS Communication and Interaction Support Service - works in partnership to secure good outcomes and a positive future for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC).
NAS Phone and email services - school exclusion, educational right, emotional support for parents
Autism on the Oxfordshire Family Information Service Directory
When a family has problems with benefits it is worth going to the root problem - lack of money. Boosting cash coming into the family (by increasing the numbers of family members in paid work, for example) or reducing outflow of funds through addressing issues around debt, gambling, substance misuse etc. can provide similar help to resolving issues with benefits.
Entitled To independent Benefits information - affordability calculator, better off calculator, adviser access and more
Turn to us independent benefits information - searches benefits and grants
Universal Credit Partner Toolkit on Gov.uk
Gov.uk Benefits Portal - large but comprehensive
Money Helper - Free impartial money advice including benefits
ASK CPAG - Detailed information from the Child Poverty Action Group
Money Advice Line Mon-Fri 8am-6pm 0800 138 7777 free click on "talk to us live" on any page on the website for other contact options
Oxfordshire Mind Benefits Advice - for anyone suffering benefits-related anxiety or stress (no diagnosis needed) practical and emotional help.
Organisations which can help with benefits in the online Service Directory
Bereavement is when someone in a family dies. Distress, sorrow and upset are normal even if the relationship was complex. There may also be practical problems with household finances and organisation.
Bereavement Guide for those supporting a child or young person from Seesaw
Bereavement Easy Read Guides from Child Bereavement UK
Traumatic Bereavement resources from the UK Trauma Council
Child Bereavement UK - for when a child has died
Winston's Wish - for when a child is bereaved
Hope Again - supporting young people who have been bereaved
Oxfordshire Cruse 01865 245398
Child Bereavement UK 0800 0288840
Winston's wish 08088 020 021
Sad Book by Michael Rosen and Roald Dahl
Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine by Diane Crossley (Activity Book for younger readers)
Frog and the Birdsong by Max Velthuijs, Andersen Press
Don't forget to search for organisations which can support with bereavement on the Oxfordshire Family Information Service Directory!
Body Image, appearance
Anxiety about body image is very common in children and adolescents. It is more common in girls but can also occur in boys. Where there are body image concerns, work to raise self esteem and build confidence can be more challenging.
Be Real Resources - round-up of resources to build self esteem for teachers, youth leaders, parents and more - includes resources for younger children
Dove Self Esteem Project - articles, evidence-based resources and activities, and more
BBC Videos: Your Body Your Image - short videos from the BBC and UWE Bristol exploring issues around body image
Self Esteem Talking Heads - Looking at the online/offline divide
Media Smart advertising literacy - includes influencers, good resources for boys
Be Real - the campaign for body confidence
B-Eat helpline adults 0808 801 0677 email@example.com youthline 0808 801 0711 1-1 web chat and email support also available
Mind Infoline 9am-6pm, Mon-Fri (except for bank holidays) 0300 123 3393 firstname.lastname@example.org Text: 86463
Looking for local organisations which can support? Try searching the Family Information Service Directory. Start with this search for self esteem.
Most people feel bored at times, but constant or disruptive boredom can be a symptom of neglect, mental health problems, or learning difficulties or disabilities. Boredom may also be involved in risk-taking behaviours such as drug or alcohol abuse, petty offending or risky sexual behaviour.
The I Am? Book - copies are available from your local Children and Family Centre
Oxfordshire Safeguarding Boad Neglect Toolkit including the Child Care and Development Checklist
Moodjuice depression self-help guide
The Mix Helpline for young people under 25 - 0808 808 4994 11am-11pm every day
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) for men 0800 58 58 58 5pm-midnight
Family Lives Helpline - 0808 800 2222
Family Lives Parenting Support
Find Activities for young People and Activities for Families
Breastfeeding gives health benefits to the baby and mother, and promotes healthy attachment. Even where exclusive breastfeeding is not possible, some breastfeeding is beneficial.
NHS Start4Life Breastfeeding app, information, videos, mythbusting and more
Best Beginnings - plus links to the Baby Buddy App
Breastfeeding Network - Factsheets, drug safety, helpline and more
Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support - support groups, resources, Facebook Group and more
Oxford University Hospitals - Infant Feeding
National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212 9.30am-9.30pm
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers 0300 330 5453 9.30am-10.30pm
La Leche League 0345 120 2918 - flexible times
Oxfordshire Infant Feeding Services - breast pumps, human milk bank, maternity services in Oxfordshire
Organisations which can support with breastfeeding on the oxfordshire Family Information Service Directory
Bullying is deliberately hurting or upsetting someone, physically or emotionally. It usually happens over time or repeatedly, and is often denied or hidden. Although more common in children, it can happen at any age.
Anti-Bullying toolkit on the Oxfordshire Schools Site
Restorative Practice Overview on Teaching with Teachers
Restorative Justice Resources from the Restorative Justice Council
Anti-Bullying Alliance - home of anti-bullying week
Childline - 0800 1111 help for children
ACAS - 0300 123 1100 for problems in the workplace
Young people leaving care are eligible for extra help and should have a personal adviser. If you are working with a young person leaving care identifying who is supporting them is a key first step.
The Really Useful Book for Care Leavers (RUBLE) and the Really Useful Book Staff Guide are workbook-based resources from the Learning & Work Institute to help care leavers get used to living independently and make decisions about education and work.
Become (Formerly the Who cares? trust)
Shelter housing information for young people leaving care
Become Charity Care Advice line 0800 023 2033 open Mon-Fri 10-30am-5pm.
Children in care on the Family Information Service Directory
Challenging behaviour can include shouting and screaming, hitting, pushing or kicking other people, throwing things or harming or hurting themselves. It is harmful to the person and others around them and stops the person doing normal activities, such as making friends or learning. It is stressful and exhausting both for the person suffering from it and for those supporting such as parents, carers and professionals. It is not a learning disability, but people with a disability are more likely to suffer from challenging behaviour.
Positive Behaviour Support Guide from United Response - plus email newsletters and more
Minded E-Learning and Information for Parents- look for topics like aggression, difficult behaviour and in a crisis; the parent information section includes useful worksheets
Challenging Behaviour from Mencap
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation - email newsletters, resources and more
Mencap Helpline 10am - 3pm, Mon-Fri 0808 808 1111 - email support also available
Young Minds Parents Helpline 9.30-4pm, Mon- Fri. 0808 802 5544 (free for mobiles and landlines)
Local organisations which can help with Challenging Behaviour on the Service Directory.
Child Exploitation happens when an adult exploits a child, for any reason. Support is available to helps schools and services recognise the signs of exploitation, and what makes children vulnerable to exploitation. This support is available via Early Help, the Youth Justice and Exploitation Service, and Thames Valley Police.
These lesson plans on crime-related issues were developed with Thames Valley Police and include Violence Prevention Education and Drug Education.
Dee's Story - True Costs - County Lines learning activities for Thames valley Schools
Child Exploitation - OSCB Website
Criminal Exploitation on oxme.info
Local organisations which can support schools and services around criminal exploitation
Child on child abuse
Child on child abuse it is any form of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, financial, coercive control, exploitation) that happens between children or within children’s relationships, friendships and wider peer associations. It can take different forms. Abuse can happen online or by using technology as well as in school, home or community contexts. Children may be victims, perpetrators, or both.
Managing Allegations Made Against a Child - NSPCC
Peer-on-Peer abuse toolkit - Farrer
Keeping Children Safe in Education - includes guidance around peer-on-peer abuse
Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children - gov.uk
Managing concerns or allegations of peer-on-peer abuse - Farrer
Is this Sexual Abuse? - NSPCC
Professionals should contact the Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) for safeguarding or Locality Community Support Service (LCSS) for emerging concerns
Parents can call/email/chat the NSPCC Helpline or the Family Lives Parentline
Children can call Childline on 0800 1111
Local Service Search
Professionals should contact the Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) for safeguarding or Locality Community Support Service (LCSS) for emerging concerns
Local organisations that can help include SAFE, CAMHS and many others.
Child Sexual Exploitation
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is when anyone aged under 18 is being exploited for sex. The exploitation can involve money, gifts or favours, as well as things like emotional manipulation, threats and violence. The young person may perceive the exploitation as a relationship, or may be unwilling to disclose the abuse for other reasons like fear or embarrassment.
CSE Police and Prevention Toolkits - includes for LGBTQ+, Disabilities, boys and young men, night time economy, harmful sexual behaviour and more
Barnardo's Real Love Rocks - Primary and Secondary animations, worksheets and more
CSE Screening tool and Horizon Referral Form on the OSCB website
CSE and Sexual Abuse Resource Category on the Social Worker's Toolkit
Exploited video and resources from CEOP
Whitney's story (Eastenders mini-episode)
Eradicating Child Sexual Exploitation Toolkit - comprehensive resource from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation
Child Sexual Exploitation Disruption Toolkit - Youth Justice Resource Hub/Home Office 2019
CSE on oxme - leaflet and young person's checklist
CSE on NSPCC - videos, research, signs and symptoms and more
Kingfisher helpline (Oxfordshire) 01865 309196
PACE Telephone Support for Parents - you will need to complete the form for a call back
Search for CSE on the Oxfordshire Family Information Service Directory.
Contextual Safeguarding looks at the child/young person in the context of their community, peer group and local area(s). It supports identifying and addressing extra-familial risk and threat. Access to contextual safeguarding tools, materials and updates are available online - visit www.contextualsafeguarding.org.uk and register (this is free) for access to tools and regular email updates.
Contextual Safeguarding Network - large site containing many Contextual Safeguarding resources and tools
More support available in Oxfordshire
The Oxfordshire Locality Community Support Service is a practitioner-facing service which provides information about support and risks to children in your local area in your local area. All schools and children's settings have an LCSS Link Worker, and other settings can contact via the LCSS no names consultation lines.
Community Around the School: Lots of services are available to support schools, including CAMHS inreach, School Health Nurses, LCSS and more. These services support schools and come together to address common issues at Community around the Schools meetings. Find out more about the Oxfordshire Community Around the School Offer.
Criminal Exploitation happens when children are persuaded or forced into criminal behaviour such as dealing drugs, selling or storing illegal goods, providing premises for illegal acts, or committing acts of violence, theft or vandalism. Vulnerable adults are also at risk. Those affected are at risk of addiction, criminalisation, mental health damage, violence and more complex forms of abuse like child sexual exploitation, gang membership and modern slavery. Families may be involved, trying to address the problem, or unaware. This is a safeguarding issue which requires police involvement.
Child Exploitation - A practical guide for education from Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board and LCSS
Criminal Exploitation Toolkit and other resources from The Children's Society
There is information about Modern Slavery and Criminal Exploitation on the oxme.info website
Criminal Exploitation of Children and Vulnerable Adults - County Lines leaflet and case studies from UK Gov
County Lines Information from Fearless.org
Exploitation Awareness Raising poster and Exploitation and County Lines toolkit from CSE Police and Prevention
Child Exploitation and Missing Posters from Catch 22 including for professionals and young people
Safecall Service - From the charity Missing people, this service gives phone support to children, families and professionals where a child is going missing and where criminal exploitation (going country, road, county lines, gang involvement) is suspected or known. Refer or request a call back online at https://www.missingpeople.org.uk/safecall.
NSPCC information about Criminal Exploitation and Gangs
NSPCC Helpline 24/7 0808 800 5000
Missing People Helpline 24/7 116 000 text or call, email email@example.com
Local organisations which can help including Victims support and SAFE.
Cyberbullying is where social networking sites, the internet or mobile devices are used in bullying. As well being a common feature of most bullying situations, it can sometimes occur in isolation, where part of the anxiety is not knowing who is doing the bullying.
Facebook Safety Centre - comprehensive guide from the world's biggest social network
Oxfordshire Cyberbullying and Internet Safety Toolkit - includes the Oxfordshire cyberbullying survey
Cyberbullying - gone too far - Childnet resource including lesson plans
UK Safer Internet Centre - E-Safety and Cyberbullying
Think U Know - Internet safety for all ages from CEOP
Professionals Online Safety Helpline 0344 381 4772 firstname.lastname@example.org Mon-Fri 10am-4pm
Cyberbullying on the Family Information Service Directory
Deafblindness, multi-sensory impairment
Deafblindness is both sight and hearing loss. Multi-sensory impairment is sometimes preferred as a term. There may be other complex needs. It affects ability to communicate, get all kinds of information and get around. A deafblind person can usually see and hear a bit, but both senses are reduced enough to cause difficulties in everyday life.
Information for professionals from Sense
Sense - National Charity for people who are deafblind or have sensory impairment
SENSS Multi Sensory Impairment Team - Oxfordshire County Council
Deafblindness on NHS Direct
Deafblind UK Helpline - plus lots of online information and advice 9am-5pm Mon-Thu, 9am-4pm Fri)
Dental Hygiene, Dental Health
Poor Dental Hygiene and Dental Health cause dental caries, tooth loss, infections and contribute to social and emotional problems. It has also been linked to more serious health problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. To support their health, children and pregnant women are eligible for free dental treatment on the NHS, so dental issues may also be an indicator for more serious underlying issues, such as being neglected at home, parental drug and alcohol problems, mental health concerns or family conflict.
Easy Read Dental Booklets from Community Dental Services
Posters and leaflets for professionals from the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry including Dental Check by One, advice and questionnaire for parents of children with autism, plus parent resources
Dental Buddy Fun downloadable resources for children
Take care of your teeth - NHS
Taking Care of Childrens Teeth - NHS
NHS 111 (call 111) can advise on dental issues and help you find your nearest emergency dentist
Oxfordshire Community Dental Services - Oral health promotion, resource library and more
Search the Family Information Service or Livewell Oxfordshire for services to support with Dental issues.
Disability abuse is when someone exploits, abuses or neglects someone with a disability. People with a disability may be less able to protect themselves or seek help. There may be a care relationship alongside the abuse, but the risk may also come from friends or strangers. Disability abuse can happen at all ages.
Safeguarding Deaf and Disabled children - Research, Serious Case reviews and more from the NSPCC
Safeguarding Disabled Children Practice Guidance - from Gov.uk
Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Procedures Manual - Disabled Children
NSPCC Helpline - 24/7
Local organisations which can help can be found on Livewell Oxfordshire and the Family Information Service.
Divorce and parental separation is typically a time of stress for the whole family. The emotional pressures and stresses can cause out-of-character behaviour in all family members. While parents usually have high awareness of the needs of their children, this urge to care can be complicated by their own needs, conflicting emotions and the urgency of practical considerations.
Sesame Street Communities Divorce Toolkit - gentle and useful resources, suitable for younger children but engaging for all - videos, printables, activities, songs.
Relate Separation and Divorce - information for adults in relationship breakdown
Divorce and Money Calculator - from the Money Advice Service
www.separatedfamilies.info - parenting apart guides, practical and emotional
Family Lives Helpline - 0808 800 2222
Mum and Dad Glue by Kes Grey
It’s Not your Fault, Koko Bear – read together book for parents and children experiencing divorce, with tips for parents by Vicki Lansky
Don't forget to search for organisations which can provide support around Divorce and Separation from the Family Information Service Directory!
Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
OSCB Domestic Abuse Themes and Tools
Risk Identification and Assessment - DASH, risk identification, MARAC
Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Pathway for Young People (Aug 2018)
Safe Lives Knowledge Hub masses of resources including for young people, older people, LGBT etc.
Domestic Abuse Bill 2020 Factsheets includes updates on cross-examination, polygraph tests, safe accomodation, consent to harm, threats to disclose private sexual photographs and strangulation/suffocation
Programmes and Courses
Freedom Programme Oxfordshire - for women who have experienced domestic abuse
Freedom Programme online - courses for women and men who want to improve their behaviour
The Day programme - comprehensive multi-media education tool that equips young people to recognise domestic abuse and exploitation and critique popular culture
Marac toolkits from Safe Lives
Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse
Oxfordshire County Council Domestic Abuse pages
Thames Valley Police Domestic Abuse pages - Reporting, support and how to make an application under Clare's law
White Ribbon Day - Campaign to end harassment and violence against women
National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0808 2000 247 24 hours
National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0800 999 5428 email@example.com see website for opening hours - trans specific service and online chat available
Don't forget to search for organisations which can provide support around Domestic Abuse from the Family Information Service Directory!
Down's syndrome, also known as Down syndrome or trisomy 21, is a genetic condition that causes learning disability and can make some health problems more likely. People with Down's syndrome have different personalities and abilities. Everyone born with Down's syndrome will have some degree of learning disability, but this will be different for each person.
Oxfordshire County Council Early Years Toolkit for Children with Down Syndrome
Oxfordshire Down Syndrome Pathway
Down's Syndrome Association - lots of resources
SENSS Down's Syndrome and Complex Needs Team - Eligibility for service and other useful downloads are in the right-hand column under downloads
Early Years SEN Team - Oxfordshire County Council
Down's Syndrome Guide - NHS
Down's Syndrome Association Helpline 0333 1212 300 Mon-Fri 10am-4pm
Organisations on the Family Information Service which can provide support around Down Syndrome in Oxfordshire.
Drugs, substance misuse
Substance misuse (taking drugs) is a problem for individuals when it has a negative impact on their mental or physical health, family organisation, job/learning or finances. Heavy and habitual drug use causes the most serious problems, but occasional, intense use can also cause crises. There can be serious negative effects from brief, experimental or even first use. Substance misuse is also a problem within households, where it can cause disruption to childcare and neglect, as well as financial, housing and relationship problems.
Different drugs have different effects, and some are perceived as more serious than others. However, any substance which is causing damage to an individual or family, but which that individual is unwilling or unable to stop using, is a serious problem, even if the drug is legal (alcohol), legal in some countries (Cannabis), or novel (synthetic highs).
NOTE: Although occasional, experimental use of substances often occurs during adolescent and early adult years, regular drug use in teenagers is associated with disrupted development, school drop-out, criminal initiation and grooming, as well as accidents and violence. Wherever exclusion on grounds of substance misuse occurs, drugs grooming ("County Lines") should be considered.
Aquarius service in Oxfordshire support for young people misusing substances (including alcohol) or at risk of harm from other people's substance misuse or gambling - Oxfordshire Aquarius website
Parental Substance Misuse Toolkit from OSCB
SCODA Risk Assessment with Parental Drug Misuse from CAFCASS
The Family Workbook and pull-out guide to help families discuss substance misuse problems with their children
Criminal Exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: County Lines guidance - Gov guidance includes Case studies, screening, flow-chart and more
AdFam publications for family use: Bouncing Back and the Living With and Journeys Series
Talk to Frank - prevention-focussed but non-judgemental
Drugwise Factsheets and infographics - useful monthly update email
Talk to Frank - National Drugs helpline 24/7
Roads to Recovery Oxfordshire - open access, digital treatment tool'
Aquarius Drugs Service Oxfordshire - for children misusing or affected
Search for more Oxfordshire substance misuse services in the directory.
An eating disorder is when a person changes their eating habits or behaviours in a way that harms their mental or physical health. It can happen at any age, though children aged 8-17 may be more at risk. It can involve eating too much or too little, or becoming obsessed with weight or body shape. It may also include things like hiding the disordered eating, taking steps to conceal weight gain or loss, self poisoning or inappropriate use of medication and over-exercising. Eating disorders can occur on their own or alongside things like depression, alcohol/drug misuse or sexual abuse. Eating disorders damage individual and family functioning, interrupt healthy development, and cause serious health problems, which can be life-limiting or even fatal.
Referral for children (under 18) is via the CAMHS Single Point of Access. Referral for adults is via GP.
Disordered Eating for School Staff - Leaflet from Oxford Health
Cotswold House Useful Resources for Eating Disorders - Oxford Health Eating Disorder Service
Eating Disorders and Pregnancy - Nutrition leaflets, Case studies and more
SEED - Hull-based eating disorders service with good online resources
Eating Disorders on CAMHS
Beat Eating Disorders - UK Charity
NHS Eating Disorders - includes information for parents
Eating Disorders in Males - as many as 1 in 4 suffers may be male and symptoms may present differently
Beat Helpline 0808 801 0677 Studentline 0808 801 0811 and Youthline 0808 801 0711
All Beat Helplines are open 365 days a year from 12pm – 8pm during the week, and 4pm – 8pm on weekends and bank holidays, with one-to-one webchat and email support also available
Search online for local organisations that can help with eating disorders in Oxfordshire
Emotional dysregulation, mood swings
Emotional dysregulation is used to describe out of proportion or uncontrolled emotions. Being moody, sensitive or prone to outbursts is normal at different stages and ages. But for some, emotional responses become a problem for themselves and others, and interfere with successful development and functioning.
Harvard Self Regulation Activity Guide for All Ages - short guide for parents on what supports executive function/self regulation development from birth to adolescence
The Huge Bag of Worries, The Worry Ball - books which support discussion of worries
Blob Trees - simple cartoons to help children talk about emotions
All about me and I am? workbooks - available from your local Children and Family Centre
Young Minds - resources, reports, policy and more
Young Minds - parents support zone
YoungMinds Parents' Helpline 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri 9.30am to 4pm)
Family Lives Parentline Plus 0808 800 2222 for information, advice, guidance and support on any aspect of parenting and family life, open 9am – 9pm, Mon-Fri and 10am–3pm Sat-Sun
Find local organisations that can help with emotional dysregulation in Oxfordshire.
Employment, Education and Training
Young people are expected to stay in full time education until age 16, continue in some form of learning (such as sixth form, college or an apprenticeship) until age 18 and then transition into their adult employment. Unemployment, underemployment, low aspirations and leaving learning early can all have a negative impact on earning potential, household finances and stability. There are also safeguarding, mental health and generational disadvantage risks.
oxme.info - the earn and learn sections
i-could - great video content for raising aspirations
Barclays Life Skills - online assessment practice, interview practice, wheel of strengths and more
National Apprenticeship Service
Careers Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) for Oxfordshire Schools
Request for Support
Young people aged 16-18 (up to 25 with learning disability or difficulty) who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) should register for support with the Education, Employment and Training Team who will help them access a suitable offer of education or employment.
National Careers Service 0800 100 900 8am-8pm web chat also available
Web Chat available on oxme website
Suitable searches might include jobseeking. You can also find young people's jobclubs in Oxfordshire listed on oxme.info.
Exam stress can occur at any age where children are taking tests or exams. Children who are uncertain of their own capabilities, ambitious or perfectionist may be more at risk. Exam stress can cause poor attainment and attendance as well as more serious mental health outcomes.
Charlie Waller Health Trust Resources Approach to GCSEs booklets - guides for pupils, parents and teachers.
Coping Strategies for Exam Stress - 20 minute session guide, coping planner
Mind 14 Ways to beat exam stress - includes Emoodji app
For Young people
Exams on oxme.info - stress busting tips and more
Childline on Exam and Assessment Stress - videos about managing stress, social pressures and more
NHS Moodzone on helping children cope with exam pressure and anxiety
Find Local Services that can help with exams in Oxfordshire.
Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, cutting
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Girls may be abused through FGM at any age. While there may be a traditional "age" (which may be as early at birth or as late as adolescence) or methods, these may be changed to enable the abuse. It is most associated with some cultures and communities. But risk is present in any community with strong community, cultural or religious attitudes around sexuality, virginity and marriagability. FGM is abuse and illegal in the UK under multiple laws. Support is available for adult survivors of FGM, and girls at risk must be safeguarded.
The Three Key Questions about FGM to ask when assessing risk
OSCB Harmful Practices Page, this includes the OSCB FGM Local Procedures, screening tool and strategy
Let's Talk FGM - information resource from the NHS
FGM Posters, starting conversations, resources for schools and more from Oxford Against Cutting
This is a safeguarding concern, please contact MASH.
The Oxford Rose Clinic - Confidential service for women and girls who have undergone FGM. Includes support around contraception and sexual health, pregnancy, health complications and treatment.
Oxford Against Cutting - local training and awareness raising, support groups for survivors and more
Find organisations which can support with FGM on the Oxfordshire Family Information Service Directory
Harmful Sexual Behaviour
Harmful Sexual Behaviour is sexual behaviour from a child that is harmful to others or themselves, not age appropriate, or which causes distress or concern to themselves and/or others.
Stop it now provides tools to support parents including parents' versions of the The Traffic Light tools.
Harmful Sexual Behaviour training, resources and more from the NSPCC
Harmful Sexual Behaviour Prevention Toolkit - Stop it Now/Lucy Faithfull
Stop it Now - National charity addressing harmful sexual behaviour in adults and children
AIM - resources and training for professionals, requires registration
Stop it Now Helpline - for anyone with concerns around harmful sexual behaviour - confidential messaging also available 0808 1000 900
Find local groups or organisations that can support around sexual behaviour.
Hearing Impairment, Deafness
Hearing impairment or deafness in children refers to all levels of hearing loss. It may be partial or total loss, temporary or permanent. Deafness affects communication, language development, and can be associated with lack of awareness of surroundings, anxiety and withdrawal as they cannot hear.
National Deaf Children Society Information and Support - there are many other resources for parents and professionals on the their website
Eligibility criteria and other useful downloads are available from the SENNS Hearing Impairment Team - downloads are in the right hand column
SENSS Hearing Impairment Team, all children with hearing loss which might impact on educational access are referred by health to this team.
Oxfordshire County Council Sensory Impairment Support for people who have a hearing loss, visual loss or both.
National Deaf Children Society Helpline Mon-Fri 9am-5pm 0808 800 8880
Search the Family Information Service Directory for more Oxfordshire organisations that can help with hearing loss.
Home Education, Elective Home Education, EHE
Some parents educate their children at home. The Oxfordshire County Council Elective Home Education Team should be aware aware that a child is being educated at home. If you are not sure, you can contact the EHE team at firstname.lastname@example.org / 01865 323513. Effectively delivered and well organised home schooling is supportive to a child's learning and development, allows them opportunity to socialise and explore and prepares the child well for adulthood. But it is a large responsibility for a family, and support available to those who home educate is limited.
Edplace Guide to home education - a simple, free introduction from one of the commercial providers
Oxford Owl - support and resources for learning at home
Elective Home Education - rules pathways and referral forms, on the Oxfordshire schools intranet
Being educated at home - information for the public and parents
Home Education - information for young people
freelearners.org.uk - active online support group for local home educators, there is also an Oxfordshire Home Educators Facebook Page
Education otherwise helpline and enquiry service
Organisations which can help with Homeschooling in Oxfordshire.
Honour Based Abuse
Honour Based Abuse is any type of abuse committed against a person in order to protect or defend the perceived ‘honour’ of a family or community. Abuse can range from emotional pressure to murder and includes significant offences like forced marriage and false imprisonment.
Thames Valley Hidden Harm - Honour Based Abuse video and information
Honour Based Abuse from Reducing the Risk
Karma Nirvana - Survivor Stories, helpline, practical advice
Karma Nirvana Helpline 0800 5999 247 Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm.
Housing, at Risk of Homelessness
Families at risk of homelessness are vulnerable. Solving housing issues takes energy away from tackling other issues. Anxiety over housing makes problems worse, and shifts a family’s priorities away from caring for their children. You may also find that poor quality, inadequate or inappropriate housing, insecure housing and sofa-surfing are causing problems for children and families. But there is support available to stop families and individuals becoming homeless - and it can often be accessed early, before problems become severe or entrenched.
Housing Referral Process
All Statutory Bodies, including Oxfordshire County Council (all staff) are required to refer anyone who is homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless within 56 days, to a local housing authority. The aim of this early referral is to allow time for support to be put in place to avoid that person becoming homeless in the first place.
- Under 18 go via MASH
- Young People's Supported Accomodation Service
- ALERT housing referral
Local Housing Authorities
Housing and homeless support is available from your local housing authorities (City and District Councils).
- Oxford City - Housing and Homelessness
- Cherwell - Homeless or at Risk
- West Oxfordshire - Homeless or at risk
- South Oxfordshire - Homeless or at risk
- Vale of White Horse - Homeless or at Risk
National Homelessness Advice Service - standard letters, factsheets, dedicated section for housing support for young people
Shelter Housing Advice - Advice on all kinds of housing topics
Housing associations also have dedicated staff, often called Neighbourhood Coaches, who can provide support to tenants around a variety of issues.
Reporting Rough Sleepers
All rough sleepers should be reported. When rough sleepers are reported, the report is sent as an alert to a street outreach team run by a sympathetic local charity. Workers from this charity will approach that person to discuss their needs and support them to stop sleeping rough.
Report rough sleepers via www.streetlink.org.uk or call Streetlink on 0300 500 0914
Links and Helplines
Shelterline - 0344 515 1380 - open 365 days a year, 8am-8pm weekdays and 9am-5pm weekends
Crisis Skylight Drop-in (Oxford) - book appointments on 01865 263900
Find Local Services
Find local services that can provide support around homelessness in Oxfordshire.
Knife Crime, carrying weapons
Although knife crime is rare, it is a serious concern for many children and adults. Children and other people may carry weapons to enable committing crime, but also because they feel unsafe or want to protect themselves. Found or improvised weapons may also be carried to show off to others or through ignorance. Carrying any kind of weapon increases risk to all, including the person carrying the weapon.
PSHE Association Run Hide Tell lesson plans - less plans for 11-16 year olds
No knives, better lives toolkits - lesson plans, including one for bystanders, youth sessions and more from Safer Scotland
www.fearless.org - information for young people about many kinds of crime, including knife crime, plus anonymous crime reporting routes
Crimestoppers - Speak up, stay safe, report crime anonymously
Find organisations in Oxfordshire that can help around knife crime
Individuals with little or no written or spoken English can find themselves isolated and unable to access services effectively. They may be more vulnerable to abuse and less able to ask for help. Language barriers can interfere with practice and make it harder to assess, support and protect families.
Rewordify can be used to simplify English text
xkcd Simple Writer will highlight difficult words in written English
Google translate can be used in situations where accessing translation services is impracticable but use with care
People whose first language is not English: learning from case reviews - from the NSPCC
Support is often available from the usual sources, but may need to be pre-arranged or booked to ensure the appropriate language support is in place. If the person is more comfortable with written communication, online chat services and forums are widely available, e.g.
Samaritans support for non-English speakers
Childline 1-2-1 Counsellor Chat
EMBS can provide English study alongside access to National Careers Service and more (Oxford and Banbury)
Search the Service Directory for organisations which can help with English, language and translation.
Life Story Work
Life Story Work is done with and for children in care. It includes things like collecting key information and records about a child's life as well as work with the child so they understand what happened to them, and why they needed to be protected. It supports the child to develop a secure base of attachment and an understanding of their life history, while supporting them to understand what happened and how it is not their fault. Many people contribute to Life Story Work, but a social worker will normally lead. It is a requirement for children who are being adopted or fostered.
Key Links for Children's Services Staff
Life Story Work on the Oxfordshire County Council Children's Services Intranet
Life Story Work on the Children's Services Procedures Manual
These will only be accessible to internal OCC staff.
Joy Rees - The Joy of Life Story Work
These local organisations can support with Adoption and Fostering. You can also request support via your Locality Community Support Service Link Worker.
Low income, poverty, financial hardship
Households with low income are more at risk from stress, debt and anxiety as well as poor nutrition, health and housing. Problems can include things like interruptions or overpaying for internet access or other utilities, insufficient food and warmth to maintain health, especially for young or old family members and risky or insecure housing. Low income families are also less able to recover easily from problems, and common risky activities like gambling, smoking and substance misuse may be more risky for a low income family.
Financial Fact Sheets for Families in Oxfordshire - Benefits, New Parents and More
Money Helper Service Tools and calculators
Trussel Trust Guide to using a Foodbank N.B. There are also independent foodbanks in Oxfordshire
Buttle Small Grants - small grants for where other sources of support have been exhausted
Help if you are on a low income from Citizens Advice
In work - on a low income from Turn2us
Money Helper combines the Money Advice Service, Pensions Wise and the Pension Advisory Service. Get in touch online or call on 0800 011 3797.
Try searching the Oxfordshire Family Information Service for local organisations that can help with income or poverty
Search Money Matters on Livewell Oxfordshire
Mental Health problems are common. Most people will suffer them at some point in their lives. They can happen as a result of stresses or can occur spontaneously, without cause. There is also information under specific issues such as depression, anxiety or emotional dysregulation. These links and resources may be most useful when you are not yet sure what the issue is.
Young Minds resources - activities, toolkits, webinars and more
Mental Health and Growing Up Factsheets - large set of factsheets from the Royal College of Psychiatrists
Minded - online high quality e-learning aimed at families, parents and professionals. Lots of issues covered.
Young Minds - young people's mental health and wellbeing
Mind - A-Z of mental health and more
Mind Infoline 9am-6pm, Mon-Fri (except for bank holidays) 0300 123 3393 email@example.com
Heads together - Get support - a round up of useful helplines for mental health problems
Looking for local organisations which can support? Run some searches on the Services Directory! Start with this search for mental health.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. This serious form of abuse is potentially fatal. It also causes great distress to children and affects their wellbeing in the short and long term.
Neglect on the OSCB website - targeted information to support work around Neglect in Oxfordshire
DFE Neglect Training resources - useful handouts
Neglect on the OSCB Website
Neglect Professional Resources from the NSPCC
Neglect is a Safeguarding concern, report to MASH.
Anyone can contact the NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000 or Childline 0800 1111 - text, email and chat all available
Neglect on the Oxfordshire Family Information Service Directory
Not in Learning or NIL
All young people aged 16+ have the right to free learning, and should remain in learning, until the end of their second year of post-16 education, or their 18th birthday. This can be at school or college or work-based learning such as an apprenticeship. Their participation in learning is tracked by Oxfordshire County Council and young people who are NEET (not in employment, education or training) or NIL (not in learning) are offered support to find suitable learning opportunities.
Register a young person's learning destination on oxme (requires consent: children may self register)
Request support for a young person who is NEET (requires consent: children may self refer).
Secondary school applications in Oxfordshire
The Apprenticeship Finder and Opportunities on oxme
National Careers Helpline for Teenagers 0800 100 900 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 10am-5pm
Useful searches include college. Further Education (FE) colleges provide late, in-year, part-time and apprenticeship programmes for young people who have missed secondary school admissions or who have decided to leave school. There are also alternative learning providers (including flexible, community-based options) listed in the Opportunity Search on oxme.info.
Online risky behaviour
Children and adults may struggle to accurately assess risk online. Risky activities include obsessively viewing harmful content, sharing personal information, encouraging risky behaviour, posting or sending harmful content to others, and linking up with strangers online. It can be hard to assess who will be at risk, as individuals can present as technological experts but have poor understanding of risk and a low willingness to seek help. The speed of communication on the internet can create problems very quickly.
Childnet for Teachers and Professionals - Crossing the line explores online risks like self harm, sexting, cyberbullying and self esteem
Digiduck Stories explores risks in a way friendly to all ages and abilities
SEND Online Safety Hub - from Childnet (Thrive Online)
Internet Matters - huge resource site for parents with a useful newsletter
NSPCC E-Safety - also Childnet Parent and Carers toolkit
Childnet - resources for parents, professionals and children
ThinkuKnow - CEOP's public information website
Professionals Online Safety Helpline 0344 381 4772 Mon-Fri 10am to 4pm
Find organisations which can help with online risk locally.
Sometimes called adolescent to parent violence and abuse, this refers to children being violent toward their parents or carers, and can also occur with younger children.
Information guide: adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA)
Teen Violence at Home from Family Links
Challenging Behaviour and Parents living in a Difficult Situation from Young Minds
Family Lives - charity providing parenting support including videos, forums and more
Adolescent to Parent Violence - project from Oxford University Law Faculty
Family Lives helpline (formerly Parentline Plus) 0808 800 2222 9am–9pm, Mon-Fri and 10am–3pm Sat-Sun
Organisations which can support with domestic violence on the Family Information Service Directory
Parenting programmes provide parents and families with practical strategies to improve family life. Programmes run in all kinds of places including schools, Children & Family Centres and Community Centres across Oxfordshire. Some may need a referral, but others will not. There are online courses, and books.
Access local support via LCSS
The Locality Community Support Team is aware of programme in your area; contact your link worker or local area office.
The Netmums Parenting Course is based on the Nurturing Programme by Family Links
Find Local Organisations Offering Parenting programmes in Oxfordshire
A physical disability is a difference which affects a person's physical functioning. There are many different types of physical disability. And all people are individual and will have different experiences. Physical disabilities can occur alongside learning difficulties. A person may be born with physical disability, or may acquire it at a later date.
Council for Disabled Children Resources portal - Decision making toolkit, EHC models, Easy-Read information and more
SENSS Physical Disabilities Team - Eligibility Criteria and useful downloads in the right-hand column
Scope Education Support - lots of resources for parents, carers and others
Children's Integrated Therapies - Oxford Health
SENSS SEN-ICT-AAC-Team - Assistive and Augmentative technology support for learners
Scope Helpline - 0808 800 3333 9am – 6pm weekdays. 10am-6pm weekends
Use the Family Information Directory Disability Portal to find services for children, and Livewell Oxfordshire to find services for adults.
Pregnancy, risk of pregnancy
Pregnancy and Maternity Services, including specialist support, are generally accessed via GP, but if you have a concern, some other local services may be of support.
Key Local Services
Pause is a voluntary programme for women who have experience of or are at risk of repeated removals of children from their care. They offer a trauma informed, relationship based 18 month intervention programme. Women are approached proactively but you can also contact the service at firstname.lastname@example.org
Family Nurse Partnership help younger parents be the best parent they can be, supporting younger, first-time parents; aged 19 years or under at conception, or under 21 years if they’ve been in care.
Search for pregnancy services on Oxfordshire Family Information Service.
Children and families which have recently come to the UK having suffered violence, conflict or trauma may suffer particular problems. These can include anxiety, flashbacks, behavioral problems, distress and more.
Guides for Practitioners and Guides for Refugees from the Refugee Council
Parenting advice for families exposed to conflict - developed by Manchester University and Syrian refugee families, this provides simple strategies in multiple languages.
Refugee Council - Referral, telephone advice, training and more
Migrant Help - asylum services, modern slavery, more
Asylum Welcome - Oxfordshire's support organisation for asylum seekers, refugees and detainees.
Together with Migrant Children - advocating for children, access to wrap-around, intensive support
Refugee Council telephone info line - 0808 196 7272
Local organisations which can support refugees and asylum seekers in Oxfordshire.
Resilience refers to the process of overcoming disadvantage or problems in life and bouncing back, or even using problems as growth opportunities. Resilience is a combination of internal characteristics and environmental factors.
Red Cross Wellbeing and Resilience Toolkit -
AMOSHEE Resilience Toolkit - for older students
Resilience Toolkit - for younger students
Developing Resilience from Mind UK.
Mind Infoline 0300 123 3393 open 9am-6pm, Mon-Fri (except bank holidays) email@example.com
Find organisations in Oxfordshire which can support work around resilience.
As children grow older, they learn self care and progressively take responsibility for their own self care (washing, cleaning teeth, treating minor ailments and maintaining health). Some children learn this faster than others, and some require support into adulthood, depending on their needs. It is the responsibility of the parent to care for their child and support their child to learn self care, so a problem with self care usually indicates neglect or other problems within a household, although it can also arise as a response to trauma, abuse or other pressures during adolescence.
Self Care Forum Factsheets
Self Care Activities for Teens Poster and list
Self care Step by Step from NHS GGC
Childline taking care of yourself (mental health)
The Mix Your body (physical health)
CAMHS SPA - 01865 902 515 online self help, referrals and more
NSPCC Helpline - 0808 800 5000
Childline information on self care and helpline 0800 1111
Find local services that can help with self care in Oxfordshire.
Self harm refers to a behaviour where a person harms themselves. This can happen habitually or at times of stress, and levels of self-harming can change over time. Types of self harm can include doing things that are deliberately risky or psychologically harmful as well as self-injury such as cutting or burning. Self harm increases the risk of severe self injury and suicide. Risky sexual or relationship behaviours or substance abuse can also form part of a pattern of self harming, as can food restriction, medication abuse and over-exercising.
The CalmHarm App is based on DBT principles and helps manage the urge to self harm
Self Harm Toolkit from the Northamptonshire Mental Health Gateway (Ask Normen)
NHS Self Harm - videos, links and more
Stem-4 - Self Harm - self help, information for friends and more
Mind on Self Harm - Downloadable leaflet, real experiences, how to help
Self Injury Support Bristol - self harm spectrum, resource hub, helpline for girls and women
For children and young people
Coping with self harm ; a guide for parents and carers - evidence based strategies from families that have successfully managed a self harm problem
Self Injury Helpline 0808 800 8088 FREE Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-10pm for women and girls only
CALM Helpline 0800 58 58 58 7 days a week, 5pm to midnight, for men only
MIND Infoline 0300 123 3393 9am-6pm Mon-Fri.
Find organisations which can help locally with self harm on the Family Information Service and Livewell Oxfordshire
SEND Early Years
Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities can access a local offer of health and support services to support their development and help them achieve their potential.
Resources and help from the Council for Disabled Children
Early Years SEN Toolkit - resources, activities, strategies, guidance, procedures and more.
The SENDCO Helpdesk - is on hand to provide working SENDCOs with strategies, signposting, early intervention guidance and universal support for primary age/stage and early years children.
Supporting Children under 5 with SEN in Oxfordshire (SEND Local Offer)
Helpline and advice
SENDIASS - impartial information, advice and support to parents of children and young people with SEN and disabilities, 01865 810516 term time only.
SOS!SEN - friendly, independent and confidential advice on SEN - 020 8538 3731
Find services to support around SEN on the Family Information Service.
Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities can access a local offer of health and support services to support their development and help them achieve their potential, usually supported with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).
SEN Support and Resources - Oxfordshire Schools Intranet
Resources from the Council for Disabled Children
The SEND Local Offer includes education, health and care services for children and young people, and information about support available.
Helpline and advice
SENDIASS - impartial information, advice and support to parents of children and young people with SEN and disabilities, 01865 810516 term time only.
SOS!SEN - friendly, independent and confidential advice on SEN - 020 8538 3731
Find services to support around SEN on the Family Information Service.
SEND preparing for adulthood
Young people who have learning difficulties and disabilities face challenges when preparing for adulthood, but with the right support can access paid employment and independent living and housing, while maintaining good health, friendships, relationships and community belonging.
Support To Work - Free online and telephone support programme for disabled people in England and Wales, who are looking for paid work
We are the Strongest Link - Easy Read transition support
Moving into adulthood on the Oxfordshire County Council website
SENDIASS (Parents Partnership) independent information and advice
Find organisations providing moving into adulthood support for young people with LDD/SEN
A young carer is a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person (of any age, except generally where that care is provided for payment, pursuant to a contract or as voluntary work). Working together to safeguard children 2018
Whilst caring can often lead to positive outcomes for children and their family relationships, there is a strong body of evidence on the adverse impact of caring on health outcomes, social activity, educational engagement and employment opportunities for young carers.
As such, children who live with and care for parents or other family members who are ill or disabled may require support in their capacity as children and/or young carers. Department for Education, 2016
Care, in the context of illness and disability, can be defined as the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone. This could be in the form of practical support or ‘hands on care’ of a sibling with a physical disability, or it could be a child providing care for a parent with mental ill-health, this could be encouragement in the context of parental anxiety, monitoring mood, and acting as an ‘emotional crutch’. It could also be keeping an adult who uses alcohol or drugs safe. These are just examples of some types of care that children can provide. It will vary between every child.
An Early Help Assessment may be required if you have concerns, or evidence of difficulties for a young carer and/or their family that require further evidence, understanding, or multi-agency support. Contact the Locality and Community Support Service for advice around completing an early help assessment or setting up a team around the family.
Key things to consider in an Early Help Assessment for a young carer:
- Who does the child care for and why?
- What is the nature/type of care being provided by a child?
- How reliant is the cared for person and the family upon the care provided by the child?
- How does the child feel about providing care?
- Are there any caring tasks that pose a risk to the child? Or is the amount/type of care the child is providing impacting, or likely to impact on their health, development, education, social opportunities?
- Do/could other family members provide care?
- What services are involved with the child, family, and cared for person?
- If no services, what impact might the provision of services to the cared for person have on the young carer?
There should be Young Carer support available for all children who are young carers via their schools and settings.
Carers UK Help and Support - practical, emotional, and more
Carers Allowance on Carers UK - Can be claimed by people aged 16 and over, subject to eligibility criteria
Carers UK Factsheets - Carer's Allowance, Council Tax, coming out of hospital and more
Carers Oxfordshire - for information relating to services and support for adult carers
Looking after someone from Oxfordshire County Council - carer's assessment, emergency help, breaks and more
Young Carers in Schools Programme Run by the Carer's Trust and the Children’s Society.
Carers UK Adviceline - 0808 808 7777 Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm
Organisations which can support young carers on the Family Information Service directory
Slavery, Modern Slavery
Modern slavery includes forced or compulsory labour, exploitation and abuse for financial gain and human trafficking. Modern slavery victims often face more than one type of abuse, are often moved around (trafficked) between or within countries and may resist or flee attempts to provide support.
Modern Slavery Information on Gov.uk - posters, leaflets in multiple languages and more
Child Trafficking and Modern Slavery information from the NSPCC
Modern Slavery Helpline frontline professionals toolkit - resources, spot the signs, National Referral Mechanism, duty to notify (report) potential victims and more
Modern Slavery and Trafficking confidential referral service, safe houses, legal support and more from the Salvation Army
Salvation Army Modern Slavery helpline helpline 0300 303 8151 - you can call if you consider yourself to be a victim of modern slavery and are in need of assistance, to make an official referral for a victim, or to discuss a concern
The Modern Slavery Helpline - 08000 121 700 - report a concern, get advice
Find local organisations which can help victims of crime or exploitation.
All children of all ages need sufficient sleep to support health and development. Babies need support to sleep safely. Adults need sufficient sleep to safely supervise children. Sleep problems are very common at all ages.
Core information from the NHS
How much sleep do children need? From the NHS
Trouble sleeping - Mindmatters at the NHS
Apps and Tools
Infant Sleep Info - safe and healthy sleeping guidance for babies
The Sleep Charity has lots of tools and information including the Teen Sleep Hub
Basis - Baby Sleep Info Source
Young Minds Sleep Problems (for children and teens)
Smoking is a health harm which harms the smoker and everyone in the household. It is particularly damaging for developing brains, with particular risk points for babies (before and after birth) and adolescents. There are well-understood negative long-term health effects (cancer, blindness, limb loss, lung collapse, etc.) for first, second and third hand smoke. Smoking impacts disproportionately on people who are already stressed by other problems, like poverty, debt, mental illness, substance misuse or a history of abuse because people already suffering problems are more likely to smoke and less likely to quit. On the bright side, positive changes in someone's life make it easier to quit smoking, and free smoking cessation support (nicotine replacement therapy or e-cigarettes) is freely available - although some people quitting show better results if they pay for quitting tools themselves. Though smoking may seem like a minor problem, the positive effects of quitting are substantial, and can have powerful knock-on effects in other parts of the person's life as their health, income and belief in their own capacity for change improves.
Mental health and Smoking myth-buster - although designed for mental health settings, this excellent myth-buster is applicable to any support setting and addresses staff who smoke, effects on mental health, E-cigarettes and more
NHS Quit Smoking the official NHS site with all the support you need by email, app, text and more
The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training - online training, briefings, 30s interventions, standard smoking cessation programmes, videos and more
Smoking in pregnancy challenge group materials - materials in different languages, e-cigarettes and pregnancy
Ash Factsheets, materials to support people suffering from health inequalities and more
Smokefree National Helpline 0300 123 1044 Mon-Fri 9am-8pm and Sat-Sun 11am-4pm
Someone quitting is four times as likely to succeed if they have structured support and nicotine replacement therapy. Support is available via GP, Pharmacist, local services, online, via apps, commercially etc.
Stop for Life Oxon - Free local support to stop smoking, including Smokefree Oxfordshire, Champix, local support and more
Search for more services and information on smoking.
Suicide is the act of a person taking steps to end their life. Men, women, and children may be at risk during times of stress, low mood, or mental distress. Research shows that asking someone directly if they are feeling suicidal does not increase the likelihood of someone acting on their feelings or the likelihood of others feeling suicidal. Although it is extremely important to take people seriously when they talk about feeling suicidal, often feeling actively suicidal is temporary, and people can be successfully supported to move through the crisis.
Samaritans Listening Tips - SHUSH - simple tips to listen that anyone can use
Stay Alive Suicide Prevention App - information and tools to help those at risk stay safe in a crisis
The internet and suicide - information from from the Samaritans - see also young people and suicide
Finding the Words - supporting someone bereaved by suicide
Suicide Prevention E-Learning Module from Health Education England
Help is at Hand - Excellent step-by-step guide from NHS for when someone may have died by suicide
Grassroots Suicide Prevention - resources links, tools, app and more
Supporting someone with suicidal thoughts - Samaritans
Papyrus - Prevention of Youth Suicide
Oxme suicide page - Information tailored for oxfordshire young people
Samaritans 116 123 - email, phone, visit, write, 24/7
Papyrus Hopeline 0800 068 41 41 Mon-Fri: 10am-10pm, weekends: 2pm-10pm & bank holidays: 2pm-5pm
Childline - 0800 1111
Young Minds Parents Helpline - 0808 802 5544 Mon-Fri 9.30-4pm
Find organisations in Oxfordshire which can provide support around suicide.
Terrorism, extremism, radicalisation
While only a very small minority of people you come into contact with will have direct involvement in terrorism, most people will feel the effects through news stories and some can become very distressed, particularly those with vulnerabilities.
Safeguarding Vulnerable People from Terrorism - Oxfordshire approaches and resources
A generic framework for discussing a terrorist attack - useful tool from the PSHE foundation
Belonging, Identity and Discrimination Key Stage 4 (age-14-15) Lesson Plans - from the PSHE Foundation
Prevent E-learning - All practitioners in all settings should complete some form of Prevent training. This online version updates regularly and is quick to complete.
Terrorism on Gov.uk - includes reporting routes and duties in section 3
Educate against Hate - practical advice, information and resources for protecting against extremism and radicalisation
Government report extremism in education, but if you believe you have information relating to terrorism, please call the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.
Looking for local organisations that can support? Run some searches on the Service Directory. Start with this search for radicalisation.
Trans, transgender, gender variant
Gender variance and transgender issues (where there there's a mismatch between biological sex and gender identity) have existed for a long time, but in recent years better information, protection by law and effective support through the NHS have greatly improved the experience of individuals of all ages who are trans or questioning.
Gendered Intelligence - information resource for families with a trans member
Gender Identity Research and Education resources - extensive factsheet library
Oxfordshire Schools Intranet - Resources to help address Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic bullying
Gender Dysphoria on the NHS - overview, treatment, and useful links
Discrimination - It is illegal to discriminate against a person because they are trans or transitioning
Gendered Intelligence Supportline Call 0330 3559 678, email firstname.lastname@example.org and WhatsApp chat 07592 650 496
Find local organisations that can support trans people and their families on the Family Information Service and Livewell Oxfordshire.
Trauma, post-traumatic stress
Children who have been through traumatic experiences such as abuse, neglect or removal from home can suffer ongoing emotional effects. These can interfere with their emotional state, relationships, development and progression.
101 Mindful arts-based activities to get children and adolescents talking - online version of Dawn D'Amico's book
Nice Guide to Therapeutic Interventions after abuse and neglect
Oxford Brain Story Videos and training - very friendly videos explaining the impact of trauma and how to build back
Post-traumatic Stress on Youngminds
Childline - 0800 1111 the helpline for children
Youngminds Parents Helpline 9.30am-4pm, Mon- Fri
Don't forget to look for local organisations which can help with trauma, like SAFE, BYHP and others.
Truancy, non-attendance, absenteeism, school refusal
When a child or family has problems, absence from school may not seem like the most urgent thing to solve. However, children who miss schooling for any reason (it doesn't matter if they truant, refuse, or have reasons) later in life risk lower earnings, more mental health and substance misuse issues and more crime and anti-social behaviour. School is also a useful source of routine and support. Non attendance can result from truancy (defiant/refusing to go to school/absconding), school refusal (avoidant/withdrawing from school/hiding), family and friend issues (family or friends encourage/allow child to not attend), or general household disorganisation. But investigation of reasons should not distract or delay strategies to support attendance, as every day of education missed counts. Absenteeism as a response to anxiety, conflicts with other students or the challenge of learning is a very dangerous response, which quickly establishes and causes more anxiety, leading to more absences. It is important also to check whether the student is being drawn away from school by other responsibilities (caring for/being with someone), opportunities (early economic activity/relationship forming) or pressures (exploitation/crime). Adults can also suffer from absenteeism, and absenteeism can be learned from or reinforced by other family members.
Note: All schools have access to more tools and programmes to support better attendance.
Minded - Refusal to go to school - Easy Read leaflet, interactive activity
Oxford Owl Ready for school - includes a great fridge checklist for first day at school
PACEY - Spotlight on school readiness includes Steps to Starting School poster
OxfordOWL - tools and advice to help parents support children through primary school
Family Lives on Truancy - video and advice
School Anxiety and Refusal parents guide from Young Minds
Understanding school refusal: a handbook for professionals in education, health and social care - Karen J. Grandison, Louise De-Hayes, and M. S. Thambirajah
YoungMinds Parents Helpline freephone 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri 9:30 - 16:00).
County Attendance Team - Schools Intranet
OXSIT - School Inclusion team
Underwear Rule (protective behaviours)
Resources which teach or promote behaviours which support children to resist and report sexual abuse, materials which promote respectful relationship behaviour, and services for young people who may represent a sexual harm risk to others.
Pantosaurus, protective behaviours, underwear Rule - from the NSPCC
Barnardo's Real Love Rocks - healthy relationships /CSE resources
Resource category CSE and Sexual Abuse Social Worker's Toolbox - includes content for younger children
Parents Protect Resources - postcards, posters, family safety plans
Your body belongs to you by Cornelia Spelman
I’s my body by Lory Freeman
Some secrets should never be kept by Jaynee Sanders
The right to touch by Sandy Kleven
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse - signs, addressing concerns, prevention, from the NSPCC
Oxfordshire CAHMS - see services for high risk young people (this includes Child and Adolescent Harmful Sexual Behaviours CAHBS and Forensic CAMHS) and Horizon
Parents Protect - National Charity to prevent child sexual abuse
NSPCC Helpline - chat and helpline
Parents Protect! Stop it Now helpline
Local organisations which can help with issues around abuse.
Persistent unhappiness is often a sign of other problems in someone's life, but can happen in isolation or without cause. Constant or severe unhappiness risks depression. Where depression is suspected, a person should notify their GP for support and treatment.
Action for Happiness Wellbeing Toolkit
Mind Wellbeing resource (includes Easy Read)
Oxfordshire Mind - local support and short courses for adults 16+
Oxfordshire Talkingspace - overcoming anxiety and depression together
Mind - information, support for supporters, helpline more
CALM Campaign against living miserably - for young men
Oxfordshire Mind - mental health information line 01865 247788
Calmzone helpline - for men 0800 58 58 58 5pm-midnight
Mind National Helpline - 0300 123 3393 9am-6pm Mon-Fri except bank holidays
The Mix - YouthNet's support service, for young person access
Organisations which can help with depression on the Family Information Service Directory
Joblessness is a problem both for the adults in a family and for young people. For adults, any kind of regular work (including part time and voluntary) is beneficial, raising self-esteem, improving household finances and increasing agency. For young people, part time work boosts earning potential and improves prospects, supporting the successful transition to independent adulthood. Although there are many barriers to employment, including learning difficulties, disability, care and parental responsibilities and health problems, support is available to address these challenges.
Key Local Links for NEET
All young people aged 16-18 should be in learning or a job with learning. If they are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) then support is available to help them find a suitable opportunity.
- Register someone in Oxfordshire who is NEET
- Oxme.info opportunity search and weekly Hot Jobs sign up
- Request support from Oxfordshire EET Service
National Careers Service Skills Assessment and Skills Health Check
Motimator App from the Mix
Oxfordshire Opportunities search for young people aged 16-19 (up to 24 with learning difficulties or disabilities)
i-could buzz quiz super-short and fun careers quiz
Help with moving from benefits to work on Gov.uk
Job seeking on oxme.info for young people
National Careers Helpline 0800 100 900 chat and email options also available
Organisations which can help with jobseeking in Oxfordshire.
Violent behaviour is very detrimental for the individual who is being violent, as well as for those impacted by or managing the situation. Support to improve violent behaviour is very important.
The Youth Endowment Fund Toolkit compares different approaches to addressing youth violence and makes evidence-based recommendations for successful interventions.
Find local organisations that can help children in families impacted by violence.
Visual Impairment, sight loss, blind
Visual impairment means that a person's sight cannot be corrected by usual means, such as glasses. Visual impairment can occur alongside other disabilities. It may be present at birth or happen at a later age.
RNIB Knowledge Hub for Professionals
SENSS Visual Impairment Team - eligibility for service and other useful downloads in the right column
Sensory Impairment Team - Oxfordshire County Council Social Care
Health Services for Children with SEN - Look under Eye Health
SENSS SEN-ICT-AAC Team - Alternative and augmentative communication support through ICT
RNIB Helpline 0303 123 9999 with services available in many formats
Search for services to support visual impairment on the Family Information Service and Livewell Oxfordshire.
Voice of the child
Capturing the voice of the child during any work with them can be challenging, but it is key to effective working. Here are some tools in use in Oxfordshire to capture the voice, views and needs of the child.
Mind of my own app - Oxfordshire County Council holds a license which means this can be used by any child receiving services to provide confidential feedback.
Safety House - template and guide. From the Neglect content on the OSCB website, this is ideal for situations which require safety planning.
3 Houses - plus full guidance to how to use this tool effectively.
Wizard and fairy - guide to how to use these tools effectively, plus wizard and fairy templates.
Oxfordshire Safeguarding children Board Multi-agency procedures - look under "voice of the child"
OSCB Multi-Agency Tools and interventions - look under case mapping tools
Weaning, also known as ‘complementary feeding’, means introducing baby to solid foods alongside their usual breast milk or infant formula. The baby weaning process starts when baby is around 6 months old.
NHS Start4Life Weaning Hub Simple, NHS-approved advice, easy tips from nutritionists, lots of videos
Infant and Toddler Forum guide to feeding in the first year - portion sizes, weaning tips, including downloadable sheets and leaflets
First Steps Nutrition Trust Infants and New Mums Guide - clear expert advice including a comprehensive nutrition guide for vegan babies
NHS - Baby's first Solid Foods (weaning)
Family Lives Weaning - baby-led and traditional
Family Lives Helpline - 0808 800 2222 - 1.30pm-9pm Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm Sat-Sun
Oxford University Hospitals Infant Feeding Service
Search the Family Information Service Directory for local services that can help with weaning in Oxfordshire
Record managed by Activities Oxfordshire