Wade Deacon High School
Wade Deacon Trust
The Prevent Strategy
Keeping children and young people safe against radicalisation and extremism
The parent/child relationship is the foundation to keeping children safe and supporting their social development and educational attainment. Parenting can be a challenging task. Maintaining a positive relationship can sometimes be difficult as children grow and develop and seek an identity that may be different from their own family.
Why might a young person be drawn towards extremist ideologies?
How might this happen?
The internet provides entertainment, connectivity and interaction. Children may need to spend a lot of time on the internet while studying and they use other social media and messaging sites such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Vine or Whatsapp.
These can be useful tools but we need to be aware there are powerful programmes and networks that use these media to reach out to young people and can communicate extremist messages.
Young people at risk may display extrovert behaviour, start getting into trouble at school or on the streets and mixing with other children who behave badly but this is not always the case.
Sometimes those at risk may be encouraged, by the people they are in contact with, not to draw attention to themselves. As part of some forms of radicalisation parents may feel their child’s behaviour seems to be improving: children may become quieter and more serious about their studies; they may dress more modestly and mix with a group of people that seem to be better behaved than previous friends.
TV and media
The media provide a view on world affairs. However, this is often a very simple version of events which are in reality very complex. Therefore children may not understand the situation fully or appreciate the dangers involved in the views of some groups.
How can parents support children and young people to stay safe?
If you have any concerns that your child may be being influenced by others get help – talk to someone you can trust, this could be your extended family members such as cousins who may be peers of your children or outside help. If you feel there is a risk of a child leaving the country, consider what precautions you could take to prevent travel.
You might want to consider taking the precaution of locking their passport in a safe place. Some young people think they need to use a passport for confirming their age - they do not – they can apply for an identification card. To obtain an official photo ID for the UK visit www.validateuk.co.uk or for more information call 01434 634996.