Safeguarding

If someone's hurting or abusing you or someone you know, or if you're not being cared for properly, don't keep it to yourself. There are people you can talk to.

If you live in Barnsley, you can speak to one of the social workers in our assessment team during the day. If you need to talk to someone urgently in the evening or over the weekend, you can call our Emergency Duty Team.

You can also call into any police station and ask to speak to any police officer in private, or you can call Childline. In an emergency you should always call 999.

People who can help

Who they are Number to call
Assessment Team (01226) 772423
Emergency Duty Team (01226) 787789
Disabled Children Team (01226) 774050
Childline 0800 1111

Chilypep is a young people's empowerment project. It's dedicated to raising the voices of young people to give them the confidence, influence and platform to shape their world and stay connected. They work with young people in Sheffield, Barnsley, South Yorkshire and beyond.

Working with young people, Chilypep created the Open Up Directory for Barnsley in 2018 and have kept it up to date since. This year they've worked alongside Compass to collect data and create the Open Up interactive map which lists wellbeing and youth work organisations in Barnsley for young people (under 25 years). Find the map of services that can help you in Barnsley.

Struggling with your mental health?

If you're aged 11 - 25, a new digital support website is now available in Barnsley. Check out Kooth to join for free. You can access:

  • Text support from professionals.
  • Resources to help yourself.
  • A discussion board to ask questions and get support from the community.

Other people you can talk to

If you feel threatened or afraid and are worried about talking to a social worker, try talking to someone you know and trust, like a teacher, a learning mentor, a youth worker, a school nurse or even a friend - just talk to someone.  They'll be able to contact the right people to help you.

Useful information

The information below tells you more about how to stay safe and what to do if you're worried about yourself, or someone else. We've included some links to other organisations who can help or give you advice. 

Being in care

If you're living in residential or foster care you have the right to feel safe and be treated properly by the adults who are responsible for you. You can read more about being in care on our children in care website. 

The Become website also has information for children and young people who are living in care, or moving on from care.

Bullying

Bullying can happen anywhere and be about anything. It might happen at school, when you're out with friends or online through social media. 

The charity Childline UK can help you if you're being bullied. They have lots of information on their website about the different kinds of bullying and what you can do to stop it happening. If you want to speak to someone in confidence because you're being bullied you can call them for free on 0800 1111. You can also contact them if your friend is being bullied, or you're worried you've become a bully yourself.

You might also find these websites useful if you need advice because you're being bullied:

Crime

If you've been affected by crime you can contact Victim Support. They provide support to children and young people through their website You and Co. You don't have to have reported the crime to the police to get help from them.

As well as a confidential live chat online, they have lots of information about how to cope with crime, what it's like to go to court as a witness and how to stay safe.

Depression, anxiety or negative thoughts

Sometimes it can feel like we don't have control over what we think and feel. Everyone needs some help at some time to feel better, but you might not know who to ask.

These charities have lots of information online about how to look after yourself, what you can do to make things better and how to get support if you need it:

  • Young Minds - lots of useful advice about looking after yourself and managing changes in your life
  • Stem4 - has an app that can help you to control thoughts of self-harm, as well as information on their website about addiction, depression and eating disorders
  • Open Up Directory - Chilypep have an interactive guide to help children and young people open up about their emotional wellbeing. It also has a map to show you the nearest facilities where you can get support.
  • Chilypep also have support for those affected and bereaved by suicide.
  • Kooth - a free online support hub for those aged 11-25 in Barnsley
  • Ditch the label - an online support hub

Drugs and alcohol

You might have heard of the Talk to Frank website. It has all the facts about drugs and how they can affect you, with advice about where to go for help if you're using drugs and want to stop.

There's also confidential online chat and a free helpline that you can use to speak to a trained drugs counsellor at any time by calling 0300 123 6600.

Young People's Substance Misuse Service (YPSMS) is a voluntary, free and confidential specialist drug and alcohol service for young people up to the age of 18 in Barnsley who are affected by their own, or someone else's substance use, at any level.

Living away from home

Are you living with someone who is not your immediate family?  Will this be for more than 27 days?  If so, this is called a private fostering arrangement. It's is important that social services know about this, to make sure that your home is safe and meeting your needs. 

For more information you can watch a short video about private fostering in our community.

Online safety

The internet is an amazing place for you to play and learn. But if something upsets you or you're worried about a friend it can help to talk to someone. You should talk to an adult you trust or call Childline for free on 0800 1111 if something has upset you or made you uncomfortable whilst you're online.

For tips on staying safe you can:

If you've found a sexual image or video of yourself online, use the Childline Report Remove tool to get it removed.

You can also report sexual abuse, or the way that someone has been communicating with you (or someone you know). You can do this online on the Child Exploitation and Online Protection website

If you're worried about your gambling online (including buying online content such as loot boxes), you can get advice and support from Big Deal.

Sexual exploitation

You might not know that you're being sexually exploited because you might think you're in a good relationship with the person, or people.

It's not only girls who can sexually exploited, it happens to boys too.   

How to stay safe

  • Don't trust people you don't know - even if they seem friendly.
  • Always make sure you know who you're talking to online.
  • Don't be tricked into doing things that are unsafe - even if they seem like fun at first, it might look exciting but could cause you harm.
  • Trust yourself to know when something is wrong - if it makes you feel unsafe, trapped or frightened, get help straight away.

Think about your different relationships with people

As we grow up we meet new people and we all have to learn how to enjoy healthy relationships.

But things can sometimes go wrong, and people might try to take advantage of you or force you into dangerous situations before you know it.

It could be:

  • close friends
  • a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • groups of friends from school or the area you live in
  • a new group of people or an adult you've just met
  • someone you've talked to online

Warning signs

If your new friends are older than you, they may be really nice at first and show you lots of attention - to make you feel special. They might ask groups of young people to come back to their house with adults.

They may offer you drugs and alcohol - a place to chill out or involve you in activities that seem exciting or fun. They might even buy you presents like clothes, a mobile phone, or give you money to buy things.

When you've started to trust them they may change how they act around you. They could ask you to do things that make you feel uncomfortable for money, clothes, drugs or alcohol. 

Does this sound like you:

  • Are you under 18?
  • Hanging around with older men or women?
  • Getting free presents, drugs or alcohol?
  • Doing stuff you wouldn't be allowed to do at home?
  • Staying out all night?
  • Having sex with men or women you don't want to?
  • Worried what people might think if they found out?
  • Feeling scared or trapped?
  • Is someone threatening you?

There is a way out - and we can help. 

Talk to someone you trust

You're not to blame for this happening to you. No adult has the right to have sex with you. They are the people who are doing something wrong.

It's not always easy to talk about this, but it is important that you do. Sexual exploitation can happen to anyone from any background, boy or girl - so you need to be careful who you can trust. If you're worried you should contact someone from social services, a teacher or the police. They'll listen to you and can help.

Young carers

Are you a young carer?  Find out about the support available to you from Barnsley's Barnardo's young carers service.