As we move into September, and children and young people start returning to school and college.
We still need to think about safeguarding and also how vulnerable they may feel, back in larger groups of people.
For many, they will be desperate to get back to seeing friends and peers.
Others may feel quite scared and reluctant.
(There is an interesting report around the feelings for young people and how they are working through the pandemic, and their personal feelings around school.)
It maybe the move up to a new, bigger school, it could be that they still worry about COVID.
As a result parents and carers may see a change in behaviours, demeanour and attitude.
Is this just normal child development, or is there an underlying problem?
It is likely that youngsters moving to a new school or college, will need to settle, but they could also become targets for external pressures.
We all need to be mindful and look for any potential signs that a child or young person you work with is struggling, nervous or anxious.
Especially if this seems to be more than the natural anxiety you could expect.
Consider their use of the internet, has it changed?, are they reluctant to let you see what they are looking at ? or who they are now talking to too?
Online Grooming can start at anytime, and being introduced to a new school arena maybe an ideal time for this.
There has been a large increase in the number of reported crimes relating to the internet also.
As a result of very recent tensions abroad, there may also be children from refugee families attending schools locally.
Lets all remember – “See Something – Say Something”
As safeguarding professionals you can increase your knowledge by attending various training offers provided.
And there are services available to help and assist, better to ask the question than not!