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Practitioner Toolkit

Young woman talking to a practitioner

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.

Coronavirus Restrictions: Access to service is still available under Coronavirus Restrictions, including Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub, referrals, assessments and more. 

Contact details for the Locality Community Support Service are on the OSCB website.

All resources on this page are free to use by anyone who has a concern about a child or family. 

Is it safeguarding?

Before using the toolkit, please consider; is there a safeguarding concern?

If you are unsure, discuss with your Safeguarding lead or with your Locality Community & Support Service worker, referring to the Oxfordshire Threshold of Needs Matrix and Early Help Assessment on the OSCB website and 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 maintained by Oxfordshire Childrens Services Digital Safeguarding Team. If you find errors, missing information, or would like something changed or added please contact 

Sign up to recieve the Oxfordshire Digital Safeguarding Network Newsletter.

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


ADHD on NHS Direct


Mind Infoline 9am-6pm, Mon-Fri (except for bank holidays) 0300 123 3393 Text: 86463


ADHD on the Family Information Service

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful events occurring in childhood including: domestic violence; parental abandonment through separation or divorce; a parent with a mental health condition; being the victim of abuse (physical, sexual and/or emotional); being the victim of neglect (physical and emotional); a member of the household being in prison; and growing up in a household in which there are adults experiencing 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.


Addressing Adversity from YoungMinds - book and poster/infographic

Trauma informed responses in relationship-based practice - Research in Practice (you will need to log in to access some linked resources)

Betsy De Thierry Resources and Training


Adverse Childhood Experiences Outline from Iriss - overview of topic plus education-based interventions

Trauma informed teaching from the Teacher's Toolkit

Local Services

To discuss whether a child/family might benefit from Early Help, please contact your Locality Community Support Service link worker.

More local organisations which can help with Trauma in Oxfordshire.

Alcohol Misuse

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 Concern Publications - also factsheets, posters, tools apps and more 

Identification and Brief Advice - the main tools including M SASQ, AUDIT, FAST and 5-Alcohol.

OSCB Parental Substance Misuse Toolkit 

Alcohol misuse in families resources from Alcohol Concern


Alcohol on NHS Direct

Oxfordshire Wellbeing Cloud (Turning Point / Roads to Recovery)


Alcohol Concern – runs the national drink helpline, Drinkline on 0300 123 1110
Alcoholics Anonymous – helpline 0845 769 7555
Al-Anon Family Groups – helpline 020 7403 0888


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 

The Keep Your Cool Kit from the British Association of Anger Management

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 Infoline - 01865 247788 9.30am – 4.30pm (mon – fri)


Young minds on Anger

Recommended Books

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

Directory Search

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 - sections for children, youth and adults, with instruction videos

Mindshift App - free app available on android and iphone.

No Panic's Beginner's Guide to Anxiety and Panic relaxation techniques, affirmations and more

Free Mind Stress and Anxiety Guide


Overcoming your Child's Fears and Worries by Cathy Creswell & Lucy Willetts (CAMHS recommended book)


Mind - anxiety and panic attacks

No Panic - telephone and online services

Young Minds - anxiety factsheets and more for young people


No Panic Helpline - 10am-10pm every day, youth helpline and out of hours relaxation message

Young Minds Parents Helpline - 9.30am-4pm Mon-Fri for any adult worried about a young person up to age 25


Anxiety on the Oxfordshire Family Information Service


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


Children's attachment on NICE


Family Lives (formerly Parentline) - 0808 800 2222 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday


Attachment on the Oxfordshire 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).


National Autistic Society Helpline - 0808 800 4104 - Monday-Thursday 10am - 4pm, Friday 9am - 3pm


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

Links Benefits Portal - large but comprehensive

Money Advice Service - Free impartial money advice including benefits

Child Poverty Action Group - advisers available


Money Advice Line Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-1pm 0800 138 7777 free

Child Poverty Action Group Helpline, Mon-Fri 10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm - 020 7812 5231.

Local organisations

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, Grief

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.


Schools information packs from Seesaw include a pack to use with young people with learning disabilities

Bereavement resources from Macmillan learnzone

Bereavement information sheets from Child Bereavement UK


Deaths from Oxfordshire County Council, including the Oxfordshire Bereavement Guide

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


Seesaw provides telephone consultation and grief support in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire Cruse 01865 245398

Child Bereavement UK 0800 0288840

Winston's wish 08088 020 021

Recommended Books

Sad Book by Michael Rosen and Roald Dahl - this links to a long a excerpt from the book, but you can also get it from your public library.

Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine by Diane Crossley (Activity Book for younger readers)

Frog and the Birdsong by Max Velthuijs, Andersen Press

Directory Search

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

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 youthline 0808 801 0711 - 365 days a year: 4pm-10pm (eating disorders)

Mind Infoline 9am-6pm, Mon-Fri (except for bank holidays) 0300 123 3393 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.


Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend - available on Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Facebook Messenger

NHS Breastfeeding support - includes videos, mythbusting and more

Best Beginnings - includes the free, award-winning Baby Buddy App

Breastfeeding Network - Factsheets, drug safety, helpline and more


Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support - support groups, resources, Facebook Group and more

Oxford Health Useful links - look under breastfeeding

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


Bullies Out

Anti-Bullying Alliance - home of anti-bullying week


Childline - 0800 1111 help for children

ACAS - 0300 123 1100 for problems in the workplace


Anti-bullying on the Family Information Service Directory

Care Leaver

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.


NSPCC Returning home from care toolkit

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-3pm.


 Children in care on the Family Information Service Directory

Challenging Behaviour

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 9am - 6pm, Mon-Fri 0808 808 1111.

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 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)

Loves me, loves me not quiz

Eradicating Child Sexual Exploitation Toolkit - comprehensive resource from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation


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 - 0113 240 5226


Search for CSE on the Oxfordshire Family Information Service Directory.

Contextual Safeguarding

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 and register (this is free) for access to tools and regular email updates.


N.B. You must be registered with Contextual Safeguarding to access these tools.

School Contextual Safeguarding Toolkit - Safety mapping, identifying concerns and more

Peer Group assessment and mapping tools - principles and templates for peer group mapping

Case Study Exercise for Practitioners  - a training exercise to support workers to think contextual safeguarding

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 - find yours here.

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 Cummunity Around the School Offer.

Criminal Exploitation

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.


County Lines and Exploitation resources for Practitioners and parents, including leaflets in multiple languages, from The Children's Society

There is information about Gangs, Modern Slavery and Criminal Exploitation on the website

Criminal Exploitation of Children and Vulnerable Adults - County Lines leaflet and case studies from UK Gov

County Lines Information from

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 online at or call 020 8392 5710.


NSPCC Gangs and Young people


NSPCC Helpline  24/7  0808 800 5000

Missing People Helpline 24/7 116 000 text or call, email 

Local Organisations

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 with an LGBT focus.


UK Safer Internet Centre  - E-Safety and Cyberbullying

Think U Know - Internet safety for all ages from CEOP


Professionals Online Safety Helpline 0844 381 4772 Mon-Fri 10am-4pm

Online Safety Helpline from the NSPCC and O2 0808 8005002


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.


Inclusive Play Toolkits 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)


Deafblindness on the Family Information Service Directory

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 from the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry including Dental Check by One, advice and questionnaire for parents of children with autism 

Dental Buddy Fun downloadable resources for children


Take care of your teeth - NHS

Childrens Teeth  - NHS


NHS 111 (call 111) can advise on dental issues and help you find your nearest emergency dentist

Dental Helpline from the Oral Health Foundation 01788 539780 (local rate call in the UK), for free and impartial advice 9am-5pm Mon-Fri

Local Sevices

Oxfordshire Community Dental Services  - Oral health promotion, resource library and more

Oxford Health Specialised Dental Services - for those with medical conditions, including phobias, mental health issues and learning disabilities

Search the Family Information Service or Livewell Oxfordshire for services to support with Dental issues.

Disability Abuse

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


Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Procedures Manual - Disabled Children

Abuse and Neglect of Vulnerable Adults - NHS


NSPCC Helpline - - 0808 800 5000 - 24/7

Action on Elder Abuse helpline - 080 8808 8141 Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm


Local organisations which can help can be found on Livewell Oxfordshire and the Family Information Service.

Divorce, separation

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 Divorce Toolkit - gentle and useful resources, suitable for younger children but engaging for all - videos, printables, activities, songs.

Sorting Out Separation - comprehensive government website, includes a useful parenting plan pro-forma among many other resources

Relate Separation and Divorce - information for adults in relationship breakdown

Divorce and Money Calculator - from the Money Advice Service

Links - tools and guides, plans, fact sheets, videos and more - parenting after parting, including an online learning tool called "Getting it Right for Children When Parents Part" - parenting apart guides, practical and emotional


Family Lives Helpline - 0808 800 2222 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday, listening, supportive and non-judgemental

Relate talk to someone -  0300 100 1234 or direct contact with counsellors via webchat on their website

Recommended Books

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

Directory Search

Don't forget to search for organisations which can provide support around Divorce and Separation from the Family Information Service Directory!

Domestic Abuse

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, DOM5, MARAC and more

Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Pathway for Young People (Aug 2018)

Safe Lives Knowledge Hub masses of resources including for young people, older people, LGBT etc.

16 Days of Action Toolkit - posters, briefings and more

Programmes and Courses

Recovery Toolkit - 12 week programme for women who have experienced domestic abuse

Perpetrator programmes - Reducing the Risk information for perpetrators plus 12-week perpetrator programme, available from multiple locations across Thames Valley, regular start dates. Support also provided to the perpetrator's partner.

Freedom Programme - 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


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

Comprehensive Domestic Abuse helpline list from Reducing the Risk

National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0800 999 5428 see website for opening hours - trans specific service and online chat available

Directory Search

Don't forget to search for organisations which can provide support around Domestic Abuse from the Family Information Service Directory!

Down Syndrome

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 - new parents pack, section for adults with Down's Syndrome, factsheets and more

SENSS Down 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 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 should be considered.


Aquarius Referral Form for young people misusing substances or at risk of harm from other people's substance misuse

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

Drugs Meter evidence based harm reduction tool, also available as an app.


Talk to Frank - prevention-focussed but non-judgemental

Drugwise Factsheets and infographics - useful monthly update email


Talk to Frank - National Drugs helpline 24/7

Local Services

Roads to Recovery Oxfordshire - self referral online

Wellbeing Cloud Oxfordshire - look under self help

Aquarius Drugs Service Oxfordshire - for children misusing or affected, based at Children & Family Centres

Search for more Oxfordshire substance misuse services in the directory.

Eating Disorders

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 friends and family

Eating Disorders in Males - as many as 1 in 4 suffers may be male and symptoms may present differently


Beat Helpline 0808 801 0677
Beat Studentline 0808 801 0811
Beat 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.

Tools - 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

National Careers Service

Oxme opportunities

Careers Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) for Oxfordshire Schools


National Careers Service 0800 100 900 8am-10pm web chat also available

Oxfordshire EET Service 01865 328460 web chat also available


Suitable searches might include jobseeking. You can also find young people's jobclubs in Oxfordshire listed on

Exam Stress

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 Wallet Trust Health 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 - stress busting tips and more

Childline on Exam Stress - videos about managing stress, social pressures and more

For Parents

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), also known as 'female circumcision' or 'female genital cutting' is a practice that involved partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, narrowing or closing of the vaginal opening, or other 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 are changed to enable the abuse. Although it is most associated with some cultures and communities, 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


The NSPCC FGM helpline is free and anonymous, and open 24/7 0800 028 3550


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

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 Communication Tools - there are many other resources 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 Team works with Oxfordshire children 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. Usually the Oxfordshire County Council Elective Home Education Team is aware that a child is being educated at home, but you can contact the EHE team at / 01865 323513. Home schooling is not in itself a risk factor for abuse or neglect. Consider what the actual concerns are.


Edplace Guide to home education - a simple, free introduction from one of the commercial providers

Children not educated in school: learning from case reviews - NSPCC


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 - 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.


HBA Posters from Karama Nirvana

Honour Based Abuse from Reducing the Risk 


Thames Valley Police Domestic Abuse Pages - included forced marriage and HBA information, plus Hidden harm for an information video and lists of signs

Karma Nirvana - Survivor Stories, helpline, practical advice


Karma Nirvana Helpline 0800 5999 247 Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm. 


Search for local organisations that can help.

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.

Local Housing Authorities

Housing and homeless support is available from your local housing authorities (City and District Councils).


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

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 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) - Daily drop-in at 2pm

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 #knifefree lesson plans - exercises and lesson plans as well as guidance for talking about knife crime in youth or school settings

No knives, better lives toolkits - lesson plans, including one for bystanders, youth sessions and more from Safer Scotland

Links - information for young people about many kinds of crime, including knife crime, plus anonymous crime reporting routes

#knifefree - government advice website on knife crime


Crimestoppers - Speak up, stay safe, report crime anonymously


Find organisations in Oxfordshire that can help around knife crime

Language barriers

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 

Local services

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.

Further Links

Joy Rees - The Joy of Life Story Work

Local Organisations

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 Advice 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


The Money Advice Service Mon-Fri 8am-8pm and Sat 9am-1pm. Sunday and Bank Holidays, closed.


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

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.


Time to change resources - tip cards, conversation starters and more, aimed to help friends and family members provide support

Young Minds resources - most available free to download or as paper leaflets for a small cost

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 if 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 Text: 86463

Heads together - someone to talk to - 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.


Oxfordshire Neglect Practitioners Portal - created to support work around Neglect in Oxfordshire

O.S.C.B Child and Development Checklist (Neglect Toolkit)

DFE Neglect Training resources - useful handouts

Resources for Professionals working with neglected children - Action for Children


Neglect on the OSCB Website

Child Neglect from the NSPCC


NSPCC Report a Concern and Childline 0808 800 5000


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 who is NIL or NEET to receive support from the EET team

Factsheets, Q&A and more on raising the participation age (RPA)


School Leaving Age on

Secondary school applications in Oxfordshire

The Apprenticeship Finder


National Careers Helpline for Teenagers 0800 100 900 Mon-Sun 8am-10pm


Useful searches include college. Further Education 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


Not sure what issue

Sometimes while it is clear that something is wrong, the issue may be uncertain, hidden or something more than the presenting issue. This section contains some resources which can support exploring concerns, capturing the child's voice and planning for safety.


My Three Houses App - free app that helps children explore worrying things in their life, for use with a professional.

I am... and All About Me booklets - available from your local Children and Family Centre.

Downloadable templates for My three houses, Fairy and Wizard from the OSCB Multiagency toolkit (under Voice of the Child)


Report Child Abuse - Oxfordshire County Council website

NSPCC - every childhood is worth fighting for


NSPCC Helpline - 0808 800 5000 - helping adults protect children


Search on the Family Information Service Directory once you have identified an issue which needs support.

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

ThinkuKnow First 2 a Million explores risky behaviour through a choose-your-own video

Digi-Duck's big decision explores risks in a way friendly to all ages and abilities


NSPCC E-Safety - also links through to the Net Aware guide to social networks

Childnet - resources for parents, professionals and children

ThinkuKnow - CEOP's public information website


O2 & NSPCC Parents Helpline  0808 808 5002

Professionals Online Safety Helpline 0344 381 4772 Mon-Fri 10am to 4pm


Find organisations which can help with online risk locally.

Parent abuse

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)


Family Lives - charity providing parenting support including videos, forums and more


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

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.

Online programme

The Netmums Parenting Course is based on the Nurturing Programme by Family Links

Local programmes

Find Local Organisations Offering Parenting programmes in Oxfordshire

Peer on Peer abuse

Peer on peer 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. Peer-on-peer abuse 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 2019 - includes guidance around peer-on-peer abuse

Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children -

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 the NSPCC Helpline or the Family Lives Helpline (0808 800 2222 9am-9pm Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm Sat-Sun)

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 SAFECAMHS and many others.


Physical Disability

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 Early Years Settings Support - inclusive play and more, many more toolkits are available from Scope


Children's Integrated Therapies - Oxford Health

SENSS SEN-ICT-AAC-Team - Assistive and Augmentative technology support for learners


Scope Helpline - 0808 800 3333 9am – 5pm weekdays.


Use the Family Information Directory Disability Portal to find services for children, and Livewell Oxfordshire to find services for adults.  

Refugee Families

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.


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

Asylum Welcome - Oxfordshire's support organisation for asylum seekers, refugees and detainees.


Refugee Council telephone advice line for professionals - 020 7346 1134


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.


BoingBoing Practical resilience resources  - includes videos, resilience frameworks and more.


Developing Resilience from Mind UK.


Mind Infoline 0300 123 3393 Text: 86463 open 9am-6pm, Mon-Fri (except bank holidays)


Find organisations in Oxfordshire which can support work around resilience.

Self Care

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 and Resources

OSCB Neglect Practitioner Portal

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 902515

NSPCC Helpline - 0808 800 5000

Childline 0800 1111

Local Services

Find local services that can help with self care in Oxfordshire.

Self harm

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.


Self Harm Response Briefing Presentation for Oxfordshire Schools from Anne Peake

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

Self Harm Page on oxme 

For parents

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 Monday to 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 0845 766 01630845 766 0163 9.15am-5.15pm 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.


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.

SEND Children

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 and help 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.


Getting a Job - Booklet for adults with learning difficulties and their family/carers
We are the Strongest Link - Easy Read transition support


Moving into adulthood on the Oxfordshire County Council website

Preparing for Adulthood - National programme supporting families and professionals


SENDIASS (Parents Partnership) independent information and advice


Find organisations providing moving into adulthood support for young people with LDD/SEN 


Sexting describes the activity of sending sexually explicit content to someone using phones or the internet. Many adults do this in a relationship context. A small minority of children do this as part of sexual development. It is illegal to take, share and distribute images of under 18s, but the police take a protective approach and avoid inappropriately criminalising children. Problems can also occur in the context of an another person using intimate images to bully, coerce or blackmail someone else (revenge porn).


Stay Safe: Don't send is a video and workbook from the Children's Society designed for use with Roma and Gypsy communities, focussed on prevention for young people at risk or under pressure to sext.

So you got Naked Online from the South West Grid for Learning is focussed on managing an incident and supports recovery and removal of images.


Sexting from the NSPCC

For parents

Nude Selfies from Think U Know is a lighthearted, supportive exploration of talking to your children, managing risk and supporting recovery.

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 - posters, leaflets in multiple languages and more

Child Trafficking and Modern Slavery leaflets 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

Child Trafficking by the NSPCC Facts, support available, latest research and more


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 sufficent 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

If you have trouble sleeping - Mindmatters at the NHS

Apps and Tools

Sleepio - This app is free for all Oxfordshire adults 16+ and steps people through an easy four week programme to improve sleep

Infant Sleep Info - safe and healthy sleeping guidance for babies

Sleep Council Sleep Tools Diary, plan, tests, calculators, quizzes and more


Basis - Baby Sleep Info Source

Young Minds Sleep Problems (for children and teens)


Sleep Support on The Family Information Service Directory


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 Smokefree 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


NHS Stop Smoking 

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.

Local Services

Smokefree Oxfordshire - Free local support to stop smoking

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

Young people's Emotional Health Resource - from the Samaritans

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

What Should I do if I know someone who is feeling suicidal - 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.


Making a Prevent Referral - Oxfordshire's Prevent Referral route

A generic framework for discussing a terrorist attack - useful tool from the PSHE foundation

Addressing Extremism and Terrorism Key Stage 4 (age-14-15) Lesson Plans - from the PSHE Foundation

The Behaviour Barometer - a useful tool for categorising behaviour and identifying concerns

Working with individuals vulnerable to Extremism - a Guide for Oxfordshire


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 - includes reporting routes and duties in section 3

Educate against Hate - practical advice, information and resources for protecting against extremism and radicalisation 


Government counter-extremism helpline - 020 7340 7264 Mon-Fri 9am-6pm (excluding bank holidays)


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.


Mermaids information factsheet for professional people working with gender variant and transgender young people under 18 years - comprehensive information from the leading charity supporting transgender young people and their families

Mermaids Resources for Professionals - Diversity Role Models, Genderbread, Fertility Preservation, good practice for health visitors, school toolkit and more

Gendered Intelligence Knowledge is Power - information resource for families with a trans member

Gender Identity Research and Education E-Learning - also check out resources for an extensive factsheet library

Oxfordshire Schools Intranet - Resources to help address Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic bullying 


Mermaids UK - The UK charity supporting transgender children and their families

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


Mermaids Helpline 08088 010400 9am-9pm Mon-Fri (you can also leave a message)


The Gender Book - online book exploring the beautiful diversity of gender

See The Mermaids Factsheet for more book suggestions.


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


Post-traumatic Stress on Youngminds 


Childline - 0800 1111 the helpline for children

Youngminds Parents Helpline 9.30am-4pm, Mon- Fri

Recommended Books

A Terrible Thing Happened – a story for children who have witnessed violence or trauma by Margaret M. Holmes

Directory Search

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

Big Hopes Big Future school readiness worksheets from Homestart

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 Truanting - video and advice

What to do if your child is refusing to go to school 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).

Local Organisations

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.


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


Sexual Abuse - signs, symptoms, prevention, from the NSPCC 

Oxfordshire CAHMS - see services for high risk young people (this includes CAHBS and Forensic CAMHS) and Horizon

Parents Protect - National Charity to prevent child sexual abuse


NSPCC Report a Concern - 0808 800 5000 24/7

Parents Protect! Stop it Now helpline 0808 1000 900. 9am-9pm Mon-Thu, 9am-5pm Fri,


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


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 info line 01865 247788 9.30am – 4.30pm (mon – fri)

Calmzone helpline - for men 0800 58 58 58

Mind National Helpline - 0300 123 3393 9am-6pm Mon-Fri except bank holidays


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.


National Careers Service 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

Job seeking on for young people


National Careers Helpline 0800 100 900 Mon-Sun 8am-10pm


Organisations which can help with jobseeking in Oxfordshire.

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

Integrated Therapy for Children - Oxford Health

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 from Mon-Fri 8.45am-5.30pm, Sat 9.30am-1pm.


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 in service to provide fast confidential feedback.

Safety House - template and guide. From the Neglect Practitioner's Portal, 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 capturing the child's voice 

Neglect Practitioner Portal 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

Flying Start Starting Solids Toolkit - simple visual guides

First Steps Nutrition Trust Infants and New Mums Guide - clear expert advice including a comprehensive nutrition guide for vegan babies


NHS - Weaning your baby


Family Lives Helpline - 0808 800 2222 - 9am-9pm Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm Sat-Sun

Local Services

Oxford University Hospitals Infant Feeding Service

Search the Family Information Service Directory for local services that can help with weaning in Oxfordshire

Young Carer

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?


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

Looking After Someone 2018 - The Carers UK definitive guide to caring for someone 

Thinking Ahead about Caring - An online course to help you prepare for managing the costs of caring

For Parents

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

For schools

Young Carers in Schools Award The Children’s Society run a national award scheme for schools to equip schools to identify and support young carers and follow best practice.


Carers Oxfordshire - support for carers of all ages, carers groups in your area, and more

Young Carers on


Carers UK Adviceline - 0808 808 7777 Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm, listening service Mon-Tue, from 9am-7pm.


Organisations which can support young carers on the Family Information Service directory

Record managed by Activities Oxfordshire