At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Pontefract we are committed to the protection and safeguarding of all of our children.
- Designated Child Protection Officer: Mrs M Velayudhan Tomlin
- Deputy Designated Child Protection Officer: Mrs J Clements
- Designated Child Protection Officer: Mrs F Robinson
- Designated Child Protection Officer: Mrs E Everett
- Designated Child Protection Officer: Mr B Sandbach
Mental Health and Wellbeing
If you are worried or concerned about a child or young person mental health and wellbeing please follow the links below for more information, that can be very helpful.
If you are more worried and concerned then you can ring Social Care Direct on 0345 850 3503 or by contacting your local GP.
Please find useful links below for more information about Mental Health and Well-Being.
2021 Mental Health awareness week focuses on nature. Please click the links below to open Mental Health Nature guides.
We have on my mind boxes across school to support our children. Our mental health first aider checks them regularly and provides additional support to our children when needed.
We offer Catholic care with Denise (Senior Social worker) to children, parents and staff.
Supporting children’s mental health during lockdown
Many children are feeling anxious about current events and changes to their normal routines. Below are some tips on how you can help your child to understand what’s going on and feel safe at home during the lockdown.
Be honest about what’s happening
There are useful websites to help inform your child about what’s going on. Be honest with your child about your own concerns, but reassure them that there are measures in place to protect all of us.
Remember, sometimes less is more. Give your child the basic information they need, and then see what additional questions they may have
Encourage your child to ask you questions, but limit this time
Make a set time to discuss your child’s questions and stick to it if you can. Plan other activities through the day which don’t directly relate to the coronavirus. Children can pick up on parental stress very easily, even if they don’t outwardly show it. Reduce anxiety and stress for yourself and your child by turning off any background TV.
Focus on positive stories
Balance out more stressful news by focusing on positive stories. You could watch videos of different ways people are showing their support for the NHS, talk about the fun activities you’ve enjoyed together during lockdown, or make a list of things you’re looking forward to in the future.
Establish a routine
Routines are important for us all. We have set work for your child which requires you to follow a routine anyway, but you may have to build on this or create one of your own. Use timetables to help your child understand what comes next and to encourage their independence by knowing when an activity is going to start or finish. This might also be a good opportunity to reinforce learning to tell the time. Sit down with the whole family so that everyone knows what each member needs to do for school, work, household chores and play.
Try different activities
If you have enough space, break up the day by using different spaces in the home for different activities, such as using the kitchen for cooking, garden for painting, and bathroom for water-based activities. Try to differentiate between the spaces you use for sleeping and playing.
The MIND website has lots of helpful advice and resources
St Joseph’s supports and advocates ‘Operation Encompass’ Operation Encompass is a unique Police and Education early intervention safeguarding partnership which supports children and young people exposed to domestic abuse. Operation Encompass is the reporting to schools before the start of the next school day, when a child or young person has been involved or exposed to a domestic abuse incident the previous evening. It enables children to arrive at school and have their needs met, by trained Child Protection staff, who have been informed of the child’s ‘experience.’ National Domestic Violence 24hr free-phone
hotline: 0808 2000 247
Wakefield Early Help Hub
Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes- please visit www.earlyhelp.wakefield.gov.uk for a list/directory of all support networks that are provided in the area.
Please click below to go to the Wakefield Safeguarding Children website:
If you’re finding things pretty hard right now click this text or visit – https://wf-i-can.co.uk/ where you will find lots of information and contact details for help and support.
the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.
Child Sexual Exploitation
Some of the visible signs of child sexual exploitation can include:
- Regularly missing from home or school and staying out all night
- Change in behaviour – becoming aggressive and disruptive or quiet and withdrawn.
- Unexplained gifts or new possessions such as clothes, jewellery, mobile phones or money that can’t be accounted for.
- Increase in mobile phone use or secretive use
- Appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Being picked up or dropped off in cars by unknown adults
- A significantly older ‘boyfriend’ or ‘friend’ or lots of new friends
- Spending excessive amount of time online and becoming increasingly secretive about time spent online
- Sudden involvement in criminal behaviour or increased offending
- Sexual health problems
If you have any concerns that a child you know may be a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation report it to the Police by calling 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.
Are you aware of a child who is living with someone who is not their close relative? If so, this could be a private fostering arrangement.
A private fostering arrangement is made independently between the parent or person with parental responsibility and the private foster carers (without local council involvement).These arrangements include young people under the age of 16 (or 18 if they have a disability) who are living with someone who is not considered to be a close relative.
The arrangement must continue for a minimum of 28 days for it to be considered as a private fostering arrangement. When a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) is cared for 28 days or more by someone who is not their parent or a close relative this is called a private fostering arrangement. Close relatives are defined as step parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts (whether of full blood, half blood or by marriage). Great aunts, great uncles or parents’ cousins are not classed as close relatives.
Wakefield Council has a legal duty to ensure that any child or young person is protected, safe, well looked after and does not come to any harm in a private fostering arrangement.
The law requires you to notify Wakefield Council within 6 weeks of:
Your child going to stay with someone who is not a close relative for 28 days or more, or
You going to look after someone else’s child for 28 days or moreIf a child or a young person is already staying with someone who is not a close relative you must notify us immediately on 0345 8503 503.
To notify Children’s Services about a child who is going to stay with someone who is not a close relative, please ring the Integrated Front.
Children and young people spend a lot of time online – it can be a great way for them to socialise, explore and have fun. But children do also face risks like cyber bulling or seeing content that’s inappropriate.”
There is ways that you can keep children and young people safe click read more to find out how.
Talking to your child is one of the best ways to keep them safe. You can also use parental controls on social networks, online games and browsers and on both hardware and software that can filter or monitor what your child can see.
Preventing your children from using the internet or mobile phones won’t keep them safe in the long run, so it’s important to have conversations that help your child understand how to stay safe and what to do if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable.”
Here are a few tips on how to keep them safe
1. Have the conversation early and often
2. Explore online together
3. Know who your child is talking to online
4. Set rules and agree boundaries
5. Make sure that content is age-appropriate
6. Use parental controls to filter, restrict, monitor or report content
7. Check they know how to use privacy settings and reporting tools
To find out more information about E-Safety click on the NSPCC website in useful links.
Useful links about E-Safety
Related helpful resources…
CEOP Home Activity Packs –
Domestic Abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can include, but is not limited to:
It can happen in any relationship, and even after the relationship has ended. Both men and women can be abused or abusers. There does not need to be violence for it to be an abusive relationship.
Domestic abuse can seriously harm children and young people. Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships.
For further information regarding Domestic Abuse, see links at the bottom of this page.
You can also visit Wakefield District Domestic Abuse Service website, please find their link and leaflet at the bottom of this page.
Wakefield’s Young People Safeguarding Charter.
Parent Info is a new free service for schools.
Here you’ll find a collection of articles, tips, expert advice and resources designed to help parents keep up with what their children are doing on-line. Schools are welcome to subscribe to a feed for their own websites and use the content as they wish.
Parent Info is a collaboration between Parent Zone and has been providing information and support to parents for a decade, and CEOP , the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command of the National Crime Agency.
The government has now launched the Educate Against Hate webpage http://educateagainsthate.com/
Keeping children safe
The NSPCC Website ‘Share Aware’ provides straight forward, no-nonsense advice that will untangle the web, and show
parents how they can be just as great a parent online as offline. It includes a guide to social networking sites, a parents’ guide and tips about how to talk to your child about staying safe online.
Domestic abuse Wakefield contacts
Parents Guide to Extremism and Radicalisation
Know the Signs Campaign
The next phase of the Know the Signs campaign was launched on 18 December. This phase aims to advise parents or carers who are buying gadgets such as tablets, mobile phones, games consoles, etc for young people to set the privacy settings on the apps that they will be using before they give the gifts.
The guides for parents are on the West Yorkshire Police website – www.westyorkshire.police.uk/cse/onlineguides
The guides have been written in a very simple way, so that regardless of technical ability, you should be able to follow the instructions.
ParentInfo and Text Lingo!
Do you know your ALAP from your ASL? If not you may find the new service for schools and parents called ParentInfo a real help. Explaining text messaging acronyms is just one of the services provided by this web site, it covers a wide range of issues including mental health, sex and relationship’s and online activity including gaming and cyberbullying.
You may view the latest post at http://shareit.ict4c.co.uk/esafeguarding/parentinfo-and-text-lingo/
Please click here for useful Safeguarding Websites for Parents
Useful Safeguarding Documents for Parents
NSPCC Website ‘Share Aware’ provides straight forward, no-nonsense advice that will untangle the web, and show parents how they can be just as great a parent online as offline. It includes a guide to social networking sites, a parents’ guide and tips about how to talk to your child about staying safe online.
Tackling CSE is a priority for West Yorkshire Police and it is the responsibility of everyone to help spot the signs and say something.
How to Become An Expert in Your Child’s Online World in 6 weeks.
Please follow the link: https://nspcc.o2.co.uk/