Talking about Terrorism

Supporting children worried about terrorism

Our tips and advice can help parents

Police have issued new guidance to young people about what to do in the event of a terror attack. If you’re concerned about how a child is feeling following recent attacks or would like advice on how to talk to your children about terrorism, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Below is an article from the NSPCC site:

Talking about terrorism: tips for parents

Children are exposed to news in many ways, and what they see can worry them. Our advice can help you have a conversation with your child:

    • listen carefully to a child’s fears and worries
    • offer reassurance and comfort
    • avoid complicated and worrying explanations that could be frightening and confusing
    • help them find advice and support to understand distressing events and feelings
    • children can always contact Childline free and confidentially on the phone and online.

It’s also important to address bullying and abuse following the terrorist attacks.

  • Some children may feel targeted because of their faith or appearance
    Look for signs of bullying, and make sure that they know they can talk with you about it. Often children might feel scared or embarrassed, so reassure them it’s not their fault that this is happening, and that they can always talk to you or another adult they trust. Alert your child’s school so that they can be aware of the issue.
  • Dealing with offensive or unkind comments about a child’s faith or background
    If you think this is happening, it’s important to intervene. Calmly explain that comments like this are not acceptable. Your child should also understand that someone’s beliefs do not make them a terrorist. Explain that most people are as scared and hurt by the attacks as your child is. You could ask them how they think the other child felt, or ask them how they felt when someone said something unkind to them. Explain what you will do next, such as telling your child’s school, and what you expect them to do.

Talking to your children about terrorism

Watch our video to see how three parents answer their children’s questions based on footage

What is Prevent?

Prevent is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism. Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

The Prevent strategy:

  • Responds to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views;
  • Provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support; and
  • Works with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online and health) where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to deal with.

Prevent covers all forms of terrorism and extremism and some aspects of non-violent extremism.

The Home Office works with local authorities, a wide range of government departments, and community organisations to deliver the Prevent strategy. The police also play a significant role in Prevent, in much the same way as they do when taking a preventative approach to other crimes.

Prevent uses a range of measures to challenge extremism including:

  • Supporting people who are at risk of being drawn into terrorist or extremist activity through the Channel process, see the What is Channel section to find out more about this
  • Working with and supporting community groups and social enterprise projects who provide services and support to vulnerable people
  • Working with faith groups and institutions to assist them in providing support and guidance to people who may be vulnerable; and
  • Supporting local schools, local industry and partner agencies through engagement, advice and training.

Prevent is measured locally and nationally to make sure the Prevent programme provides value for money.

The main aim of Prevent is to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

At the heart of Prevent is safeguarding children and adults and providing early intervention to protect and divert people away from being drawn into terrorist activity.

  • Prevent addresses all forms of terrorism, but continues to ensure resources and effort are allocated on the basis of threats to our  national security.

What is Channel?

Channel provides support across the country to those who may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. The overall aim of the programme is early intervention and diverting people away from the risk they may face.

Channel uses existing collaboration between partners to support individuals and protect them from being drawn into terrorism. Who delivers channel? The process is a multi agency approach with a wide range of agencies and local partners working together to provide support for individuals. Coordinators are usually police officers with the multi-agency panel being chaired by the Local Authority.

How does channel work?

Channel works by partners jointly assessing the nature and the extent of the risk and where necessary, providing an appropriate support package tailored to the individual’s needs.

The three key stages of Channel are:

  • Identify individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism;
  • Assess the nature and extent of that risk; and
  • Develop the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.

Assessing the nature and extent of the risk

Where necessary, referring cases to a multi agency panel for development of the most appropriate support package to divert and support the individual at risk.

How do you identify those at risk?

Referrals come from those who have concerns about individuals who may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.

Who makes the referrals?

Referrals can come from a wide range of individuals and partners and could include youth offending teams, social services, health, police, education and local communities.

Who sits on the multi-agency panel?

The panel is designed to work in the same way as other multi agency structures that are used to safeguard individuals at risk – from drugs, knife and gun crime, gangs etc. The panel is chaired by the local authority and consists of statutory partners and the Channel coordinator.

What kind of support is provided through the channel?

Examples of support provided could include mentoring, diversionary activities such as sport, signposting to mainstream services such as education, employment or housing. Support is always tailored to specific needs of the individual following assessment by the multi-agency panel.

  • Channel uses existing collaboration between partners to support individuals and protect them from being drawn into terrorism
  • Channel uses existing collaboration between partners to support individuals and
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