Advice for children & young people

This page is for children & young people and has information and advice about what to do if you are worried about yourself or someone else under the age of 18.

I am worried about myself or another child or young person

If you are worried about something that is happening to you or someone you know, you don’t have to deal with it on your own – visit the Childline website for advice at  (Childline is not just for young children!)

Speak to a teacher or another adult you trust and they will help you to get the help you need or take a look at our concerned page for who to call for help

If you are finding it difficult to get support, you could get in touch with organisations like National Youth Advocacy Service or Help at Hand. They can make sure your views, feelings and wishes are heard and taken seriously and help you get the services you are entitled to.

Who else could help me?
If you need help you can speak to an adult you trust. It may be a doctor, key worker, teacher or social worker.

There are also lots of organisations who specialise in helping children & young people; here are some that you can contact or speak to confidentially:

Find out more in the quick guide on getting help to overcome abuse

I am missing from home or care or thinking of running away

If you are missing from home, or thinking of running away, you can find help and advice by calling or texting the Runaway Helpline on 116000 or you can visit their website

I am being bullied

If you are worried that you are being bullied visit the Bullybusters website or call Bullybusters on tele: 0800 169 6928 – they can provide support for victims of bullying and their families.

What is Safeguarding?

Every child & young person has a right to be safe. Safeguarding means keeping you safe from any type of harm or neglect.

All adults have a responsibility to protect you and it is the role of your parents or carers and adults such as teachers, learning mentors, doctors, nurses, social workers, police officers, faith leaders and sports coaches to ensure that you are safe. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, whether you are at home, school or are chatting online, you have the right to grow up safe from people hurting you or failing to ensure that you are cared for.

If you are worried about something that is happening to you or someone you know, you don’t have to deal with it on your own – visit the Childline website for advice  (Childline is not just for young children!)

According to the law, there are 4 main types of abuse that could cause harm or neglect. These are:

More information about what abuse can look like and how to keep safe can be found below and on the NSPCC website

A great guide written by young people who have experienced abuse or neglect can be found on the SCIE website

Advice about dealing with abuse

Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is when a grown up gives a child or young person something like gifts, money or affection as a result of performing sexual activities or others performing sexual activities on them.
Get more information about CSE from the NSPCC.

Children or young people may be tricked into believing they are in a loving relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed online.
Get more information about online grooming from the NSPCC.

Some children & young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation can also happen to young people in gangs. Get more information on young people and gangs from the NSPCC.

Child trafficking

Child trafficking is when children are taken away from their home or family and then sold to another grown up, forced to work or do something else they did not choose to do.

Children can be trafficked for:

  • child sexual exploitation
  • benefit fraud
  • forced marriage
  • domestic servitude such as cleaning, childcare, cooking
  • forced labour in factories or agriculture
  • criminal activity such as pickpocketing, begging, transporting drugs, working on cannabis arms, selling pirated DVDs, bag theft.

Many children are trafficked into the UK from abroad, but children can also be trafficked from one part of the UK to another.

Get more information about trafficking from the NSPCC.

Domestic violence & abuse

Domestic violence & abuse is when a grown-up threatens, bullies or hurts another adult in the family. Sometimes it’s called domestic violence and it can happen in any family. It can be very hard to deal with but remember that it is never your fault.
Get more information about domestic abuse from Childline

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Childline describes Female Genital Mutilation (also called FGM) as female circumcision, cutting or sunna – it is when a girl’s external genitals (private parts) are cut away. This is abuse and it is illegal in the UK. Get more information about female genital mutilation from Childline

Forced marriage

Because forced marriage is illegal, it can happen in secret and can also be planned by parents, family or religious leaders. It may involve physical abuse, sexual abuse or emotional abuse. Get more information about forced marriage from Childline.


Every child & young person has the right to be looked after properly. If you’re not getting the important things you need at home, you could be being neglected. Get more information about neglect from Childline


Radicalisation is when someone starts to believe or support extreme views. They could be pressured to do things by someone else. Or they might change their behaviour and beliefs. Get more information about radicalisation from Childline.

Advice about keeping safe and well

Advocacy – someone to listen

The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) is a rights based charity for children, young people and adults.

NYAS offers a variety of services including:

  • a national advocacy helpline
  • advocacy for children in care and those in need – including children subject to child protection plans, care leavers, children & young people with disabilities
  • support from independent visitors for children in care
  • legal support for children involved in private family law cases.

Find out more on their young persons website

Healthy body

There is lots of help and advice about how to stay fit and healthy. The NHS has advice for young people on its website.

For younger children see this Change 4 Life leaflet about how to eat well and move about more.

Drugwatch have some great educational guides on children’s health – from newborn to preteen so you can take care of your well-being by knowing what to look out for.

Healthy relationships

Healthy relationships are all about respecting each other. You should feel loved, safe and free to be yourself. Visit the Disrespect Nobody website for more advice.

Leaving care 

Leaving care means that you are between 16 to 18 and have previously been in care, but are no longer legally ‘looked after’ by  Children’s Services.

You don’t have to leave care when you’re 16; you can stay until you are 18, unless you feel ready to be more independent.

If you are in foster care, you can also request a ‘Staying Put Arrangement’ to remain in your foster home after you turn 18.

When you leave care Children’s Services still have a duty to support you until the age of 21, or 25 if you are in full time education or have a disability. You should receive the support of a Personal Adviser until you are 25.

Find out what your rights are and more advice on the Helping Hand website.

Mental health

Manchester has lots of organisations who can help children & young people with mental health problems.

42nd Street supports young people experiencing difficulties with their mental health and well-being. They work with young people aged 11 – 25 living in Manchester.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are specialist NHS children & young people’s mental health services.  Visit their website Young Minds for more information and advice.

Kooth is a free online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children & young people and can be accessed on a mobile, tablet or laptop.

Online safety

Visit the ThinkUKnow website to find the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology.

Find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it.

Most importantly, there’s also a place which anyone can use to REPORT if they feel uncomfortable or worried about someone they are chatting to online.

Private fostering

Private fostering is when you live with an adult who is not your mum, dad or a close relative such as, your grandparents, aunt or uncle.

  • It applies to children & young people under 16 (or up to 18 if you have disabilities).
  • If you are going to live with, for example, a friend of your family, a more distant relative, a neighbour, someone in the community, or the parent of your boyfriend/girlfriend and you will be staying with them longer than 28 days – this is private fostering.

Ask an adult to tell Children’s Social Care about this.


Got a question?

Use our quick Q+A to find commonly asked questions.

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