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Safeguarding Children and Young People from The Threat of Violent Extremism

Children and young people may be vulnerable to abuse or exploitation from outside the family. These threats can take a variety of different forms and can include influences of extremism leading to radicalisation (Working Together, 2018). Consideration should also be given to the welfare needs of the child alongside the radicalization or terrorism concerns.

National Guidance and Strategies

The Governments strategy to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism is called the Contest Strategy. A key strand of this strategy is Prevent which aims to safeguard people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Prevent seeks to work and intervene with children and young people before any criminal activity has taken place. It is crucial to recognise that all agencies work to protect vulnerable individuals from violent extremism and the threat of radicalisation. Concerns about the radicalisation of children and young people should be considered both as a safeguarding and prevent concern to ensure that individuals are safeguarded all forms of harm and abuse.

The objectives of prevent are to:

  • Tackle the causes of radicalisation and respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism.
  • Safeguard and support those most at risk of radicalisation through early intervention, identifying them and offering support.
  • Enable those who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate.

Statutory duty

Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on a wide range of public facing bodies in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard” to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

All schools and child care providers must have ‘due regard’ to the statutory guidance issued under section 29 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. 

Referral Process (see flowchart)

When a practitioner has any concerns that an individual or their family may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the organisation’s safeguarding lead. Where it is deemed that there is a risk to an individual child or young person in the context of radicalisation to extremist ideology and causes, the practitioner must make a referral to Prevent, this can be done using the form link below:

Make a referral to Prevent

The completed prevent referral form must be emailed to both inboxes below:

prevent@eastriding.gov.uk and prevent@humberside.pnn.police.uk


The Home Office has developed a suite of online courses for all professionals and volunteers to access: www.elearning.prevent.homeoffice.gov.uk

Prevent Awareness: This training is for all practitioners and volunteers as it gives a basic overview of the different forms of behaviour and influences of extremism which lead to radicalisation.

Prevent Referral:  Those involved in giving advice or possibly making prevent referrals for example designated safeguarding leads, Pastoral leads, and operational managers, should also complete the Prevent Referral training

Channel Awareness For anyone asked to take part in Channel, wants to know more about Channel or just wants to complete all the training available then Channel Awareness training

To ensure that all staff are aware of the current risks faced locally and nationally, as well as the changing signs and symptoms of someone being radicalised, it is recommended that refresher training be undertaken on a two-yearly basis. 

Further Information


CONTEST Strategy

PREVENT Strategy

CHANNEL Programme


ERSCP flowchart