New child exploitation website launched for parents and carers

The National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command has launched a new website for parents and carers to access advice and support on how to keep children safe from sexual abuse, both online and off.


The National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command has launched a new website for parents and carers to access advice and support on how to keep children safe from sexual abuse, both online and off.

Articles provide guidance on topics as diverse as:

  • challenging harmful sexual attitudes and promoting positive behaviours
  • helping a child with autism negotiate life online
  • supporting a child who has been sexually abused
  • online issues such as sending nude selfies and viewing pornography.

Users will find films, downloadable guides and useful links to support organisations.

Go to www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents

Families can also use the website to access the CEOP Safety Centre where they can report abuse and exploitation direct to CEOP.

Improving Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) services

Surrey County Council is planning to improve SEND services in Surrey in what they are calling the SEND 2020 programme. If you are involved with SEND services, then read on to find out more about the programme and what you can expect to change over the coming months.


Surrey County Council is planning to improve SEND services in Surrey in what they are calling the SEND 2020 programme. If you are involved with SEND services, then read the letter below from Liz Mills, SEND 2020 Programme Manager to find out more about the programme and what you can expect to change over the coming months.


Dear parents and carers,

To those parents and carers who have experienced difficulties and frustrations with SEND services, then please let me begin with an apology. We are committed to putting things right, but will only be able to achieve that by working with you and our partners.

Our starting point is what families have told us about SEND services in Surrey through different surveys and channels. We are working closely with the local parent and carer forum, Family Voice Surrey, and other groups to ensure we understand families’ needs and can involve them in planning new and better services.

What have you told us?

We are using your feedback to help guide the SEND 2020 improvement programme.  Some of the messages we have heard from you are:

  • you are the experts on your children. We need to listen to your advice and insights into your child or young person, and work with you to arrive at the right solutions;
  • for many parents, SEND has involved a ‘battle’. We want to make it simpler, more transparent, and remove bureaucracy as much as possible;
  • you want to tell your story once, and only once;
  • you need the right support at the right time - delays mean that problems get progressively worse;
  • early intervention is key, and prevents much bigger problems and greater stress later on;
  • SEND affects the whole family. We need to always remember this, and treat you with respectand compassion;
  • our services across education, health and social care need to be as seamless as possible. Where appropriate, we need to find better ways to integrate our internal processes, pool funding and share information - these are not your problems, they are ours.

Although SEND 2020 is a five-year programme, we plan to make improvements as soon as we can agree and design new services and ways of working with parents, carers and partners. We do recognize, however, that some things take longer to achieve than others and we will not be able to improve the system overnight.

We will only succeed with your help and the involvement of all the partners across education, health services and social care. That is the only way we will get it right.

As part of this, we have produced a one-page summary of our improvement strategy, vision and the areas of work that we will concentrate on over the next few months. In addition, we will produce regular updates of our progress, key improvements and timescales for your information over the coming months.  You can also follow SEND 2020 on Linked In for all the latest news and updates.  

Please do contact me on send2020@surreycc.gov.uk if you have any queries about the improvement programme or want to give your views on any SEND issues in Surrey. Family Voice Surrey has a lot of experience of working with families with children or young people who have special educational needs and disabilities. They are completely independent of Surrey County Council. If you wish to contact Family Voice Surrey, you can do so through their website: www.familyvoicesurrey.org

We know we have a lot of work to do, but together I am confident we can ensure all our children can reach their potential, and be happy, healthy, safe and confident in their future.

Kind regards

Liz Mills

SEND 2020 Programme Manager

Surrey County Council  

What's going on at half term?

Stuck for things to do? Have a look at our events listings to see what’s happening for families around Surrey this half term.


Do you, or a young person you know, need help?
 

At times we all do and sometimes just talking about a problem can stop a stressful situation turning into a crisis. I need help is a free, confidential listening and support service for young people.


At times we all do. Exam stress, home problems, depression, bullying, problems with relationships and loads of other stuff can make life difficult. Sometimes just talking about it can stop a stressful situation turning into a crisis.

I need help is a free, confidential listening and support service for teenagers and young adults offering emotional support and help when considering next steps to help resolve a problem. Callers can share their fears and concerns with a highly trained volunteer who will listen with empathy and without judgement, and who can support them in reaching their own decisions in a calm and reassuring environment. Calls can be from those needing regular support for an on-going situation, or from those needing help and support at a particular time. Problems range from fear and abuse, depression, isolation and loneliness, bullying and the impact of divorce and family conflict.

Call 0800 141 2055 – free from all landlines and mobile providers - Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, or email support@ineedhelp.org.uk

The service runs alongside FamilyLine, who offer a helpline for adults, who can contact them to talk through a problem or a worry, before it becomes a crisis.  

No issue is too big or too small. Many callers have seemingly ‘non-specific’ problems, but feel that they are unable to cope.

Visit ineedhelp.org.uk

Surrey Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
 

Your views have been listened to and from 1 April 2016 CAMHS in Surrey is changing. Read on to find out what is going to be different.


Your views have been listened to and from 1 April 2016 CAMHS in Surrey is changing.

The NHS Surrey Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Surrey County Council, young people and Family Voice, recently finished an extensive evaluation of five bidding organisations for CAMHS in Surrey and the new contracts have been awarded to Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The new contracts have an additional 30% investment from both the CCGs and Surrey County Council and will deliver services that will:

  • Ensure your child receives the right service at the right time via a Single Point of Access managed by Beacon UK a leading international specialist in mental health system management. 
  • Reduce the waiting times for assessment and treatment.
  • Support you as a parent with advice, information and guidance either on the phone or face to face via a professional telephone line from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12pm on Saturday.
  • Work with you to keep you as a parent or carer better informed of your child’s needs and progress.
  • Deliver a brand new Behavioural, Emotional and Neurodevelopmental (BEN) pathway for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), high functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental conditions for 6 to 18 year olds and support to parents.
  • Be accessible from schools, GP practices, youth clubs and voluntary, community and faith sector organisations.
  • Offer an enhanced access to counselling for children and young people in community settings and online via Kooth.com
  • Be available between 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12pm on Saturday for clinical face to face evidence based therapeutic interventions for children and young people.
  • Work in partnership with the Voluntary Community and Faith sector delivering a more coordinated approach to early intervention.
  • Accept re-referrals from families who have previously used the service.
  • Embed the Children and young people Increased Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) principles including better collection of outcomes data and delivering evidence based interventions.

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will be engaging with all relevant stakeholders and groups over the coming weeks and months. They will be available to respond to any queries or suggestions that you may have and provide any further support or information you require.

Are you the parent or carer of a child or young person with disabilities and additional needs?
 

Looking for support? Try YMCA East Surrey's Face2Face confidential befriending service. The team of trained volunteer befrienders are also parents of  young people with additional needs and have personal experience of the challenges that families can face.


YMCA East Surrey offers a service called Face2Face which provides a one-to-one confidential befriending service offering emotional support to parents and carers who have children or young people with disabilities and additional needs from 0-25 years.

Face2Face is an informal, flexible and free service, aiming to make sure that families who have a child or young person with disabilities or additional needs are supported by a befriender. The team of trained volunteer befrienders are also parents of children or young people with additional needs and have personal experience and knowledge of the challenges that families can face. This service is helpful to parents whose child has been newly diagnosed but can be just as relevant to parents whose child’s diagnosis has been known for some time or indeed do not have any diagnosis at all. The service is not restricted to any one area of disability.

Face2Face also host a number of informal coffee mornings at the YMCA Sovereign Centre in Reigate. These are informal opportunities for parent carers to meet each other, offer support, exchange information and talk to others who understand. Speakers are also invited to talk about relevant topics, keeping parents/carers informed and providing opportunities to learn appropriate specific skills to support their children and themselves.

In addition to these coffee mornings, the Just4Dads group, which is led by a father of a child who has a disability, is a social group for male carers who meet in a local pub.

For details of the befriending service and the coffee mornings please contact the Face2Face Coordinator Sandhya Gulati: 01737 229230 or Sandhya.gulati@ymcaeastsurrey.org.uk Or go to the YMCA East Surrey website.

To find other parent support groups in Surrey search the Family Information Directory under the Special Educational Needs and Disability category.

Have your say on Surrey's proposed changes to its SEND home to school transport policy
 
Surrey County Council is updating its travel assistance policy for children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). Visit the Surrey Says consultation website to have your say.

Surrey County Council is updating its travel assistance policy for children and young people with an education, health and care plan (EHCP)/statement of special educational needs statement (SSEN). They would like to hear from all children, young people, parents and carers, representative bodies, and others who may be affected by the changes.

To read the new draft policies and respond to this consultation, please visit the Surrey Says consultation website.

The consultation opened on 4 January 2016 and will close on 28 March 2016.   

Wraparound and holiday childcare consultation
 
The Department for Education want to know what you think about draft advice they have written for schools. The advice explains how schools should respond to requests about wraparound and holiday childcare from childcare providers and parents. Take part in the consultation, you have until 29 February 2016.
Is your child afraid of dogs?
 

Would you like to help them overcome that fear? How about some free classes? From Fear to Friend is a voluntary group who run classes in the Horley/Reigate area teaching children aged five to 11 how to relax and behave in the company of dogs without worrying.


Would you like to help them overcome that fear?
There are some children who find it difficult go to the park, the beach, or even walk to school comfortably because they have a real fear of meeting a dog. This is not just a problem for the child, but can put restrictions on the whole family with things like picnics, holidays and often normal, everyday activities becoming stressful and even impossible.

Free classes
If your child is anxious around dogs then ‘From Fear to Friend’ is here to help. They are a local voluntary group that runs regular free classes in the Horley/Reigate area teaching children aged 5 to 11 how to relax and behave in the company of dogs without worrying.

Sessions are carefully structured with the children always supervised and participating within their own comfort zone, only coming into contact with the dogs when they are ready to do so.

Safe and fun
Long established local dog trainer, Ann Cook, founded the group early last year and it has since gone from strength to strength.

“We create a very safe environment for the children”, says Ann. “The emphasis is for them to have fun and enjoy the progress they are making. Our classes include the Kennel Club Safe & Sound scheme and also the KC Bark and Read project. We encourage the children to interact with the dogs a little more each session, so they gradually build up their confidence.”

From Fear to Friend currently has ten delightful, specially trained assistance dogs of all shapes and sizes who have all been assessed for temperament, control, behaviour and obedience.

Positive results
The response from the children and their parents who have benefitted so far has been excellent. One of the girls recently wrote about her experience of attending From Fear to Friend; “This course has not only helped me with my reading and confidence, but has also helped me get over my fear of dogs as we gradually get used to being near them.”

These free classes take place from 5pm to 6pm on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Children from all local areas are welcome.

To book
For more information and to book a place please call Ann Cook on 01737 246902. You can also visit them on Facebook

Apprenticeships - electrical
 

If your teenager prefers hands-on learning then an apprenticeship could be just what they're looking for. Apprenticeships combine work and training to give young people a real job, qualifications and experience. In this issue we find out about electrical apprenticeships...


Powercor is a well established provider of electrical and mechanical services based in Weybridge. They have been taking on apprentices for more than 10 years!

Electrical apprentices at Powercor take part in a four year training scheme carried out with JTL Training. Each apprentice has a dedicated training officer to help them with their studies and they get the chance to learn all aspects of electrical works under supervision including:

  • the basics of health and safety
  • domestic commercial and industrial electrics
  • LED technologies and lighting control
  • voltage optimisation
  • solar photovoltaic
  • new, upcoming technologies.

Apprentices are trained and mentored not only in electrical studies but managing projects, dealing with customers and managing other staff. This ensures that when the apprentice has completed college and is fully qualified, they have good all round experience of working on different projects within different industry sectors.

Upon completing an apprenticeship, there are further opportunities to progress on to becoming a technician or supervisor. Other areas of work that apprentices go in to include electrical estimating and CAD design, engineering and site supervision amongst others.

Powercor recruits apprentices around June/July each year so if your son or daughter is interested, tell them to visit the Powercor website for more information.

The website also includes a blog written by some of the Powercor apprentices about what it’s like to work for the company and their experiences of managing projects.

Find out more
To find out more about apprenticeships visit the young people and apprenticeships page on the Surrey County Council website or GOV.UK where you can see case studies, get details about the top 100 national apprenticeship employers and help your teenager search for an apprenticeship that’s right for them.

Time to volunteer
 

Have you always wanted to volunteer but think you might not have enough time? With volunteering roles of all shapes and sizes available in Surrey, finding something that makes a difference and fits around your interests and lifestyle could be easier than you think.


Have you always wanted to volunteer but think you might not have enough time? With volunteering roles of all shapes and sizes available in Surrey, finding something that makes a difference and fits around your interests, skills and lifestyle could be easier than you think.  

And did you know that children as young as 14 can volunteer too? It's a great way to get new skills and boost confidence plus it could give your child the edge at college, university or job interviews.

Not sure where to start?
Head to surreycc.gov.uk/volunteer, a hub for all things volunteering that’s packed with inspiration for the different ways you can give your time, including stories from people volunteering in Surrey. You’ll also find a link to Do It, a national database where you can search roles by your location, interests and availability, and details of your nearest volunteer centre where advisers can help match you with local opportunities.

Not sure if you have enough time?
Did you know that more than half of volunteers in Surrey do it for a few hours a month or less? Whether it’s an hour a week chatting to an older person who lives alone, or a weekend once every few months helping out with conservation work, whatever time you have to give could make a world of difference.

Not sure if you could make a regular commitment?
There are lots of reasons why it’s not always easy to make a regular volunteering commitment, whether it’s work, study or family and travel plans. But luckily there are lots of ways you can volunteer on a flexible or one-off basis – visit the website or talk to someone at your local volunteer centre to find out what’s available where you live.

Whether you’re getting involved in volunteering for the first time, or have been volunteering for years, share your story via Twitter or Instagram using #timetovolunteer.

Find out about fostering
If your teenagers have flown the nest and you're missing having children in your house, then we think you'll love fostering. 

More people are needed to come forward and foster, to help keep Surrey children in Surrey. So contact our fostering team for an informal chat today on 08000 96 96 26 or visit the Surrey fostering website.

Do you live or work with children or young people with PDA?

Would you like some training to help you support them to reduce anxiety and improve their daily lives? Side by Side Training provides face to face training in Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) for parents and professionals.


Would you like some training to help you support them to reduce anxiety and improve their daily lives?

Side by Side Training provides face to face training in Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) for parents and professionals. It will improve understanding for anyone living or working with children and young people with these conditions.

The course covers:

  • Understanding PDA and the diagnostic criteria
  • How PDA differs to Autistic Spectrum Conditions
  • How emotional intelligence can be taught to reduce anxiety
  • Effective communication and enabling co-operation
  • Strategies to improve the learning outcomes both at home and school

The trainer, Karen Whichello, previously worked in a specialist autism school supporting children within the classroom with behaviour difficulties. Her specialism was PDA and Asperger’s Syndrome including children with suspected or confirmed PDA.  

Next training dates with availability:

  • Friday 5 February, from 10am to 2pm in London Victoria.
  • Friday 4 March, from 10am to 2pm in Reigate.

There is a £75 charge per person for each of these courses which include the workshop, a hard copy of the presentation and lunch.

For more information contact Karen Whichello on 07850 264265 or book via Side by Side Coaching and training/booking

Specialist coaching and support group
Side by Side also run family coaching for people who have children, young adults or family members with Autism, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or PDA.

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