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Safeguarding help and support for parents

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Parental Support in County Durham

Mental health problems are common with 1 in 4 people experiencing poor mental health during their lifetime. If you know anyone who might need a little extra support advice and support are available.

  • Adult Mental Health information is available at

  • Support is available by contacting your local GP surgery.

  • The Mental Health Alliance is a range of support services able to support a wide range of mental health concerns. The service is open for self-referral or referrals made by organisations. Please click Referral – Durham Mental Wellbeing Alliance for more information or contact Tel. 0300 3044 5527

  • Family Hubs can support families with all areas of family life from pregnancy right up until your child turns 19, or 25 if they have special educational needs and disabilities.Information can be found on the Help for families - your virtual Family Hub pages.

Safeguarding help and support First Contact Safeguarding Line for any safeguarding concerns – tel: 03000 26 79 79 One Point Family Support Tel: 03000 261 111 Camhs single point of access Tel: 03001 239 296 Camhs Crisis Team : 0800 0516 171 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) NSPCC Tel: 0808 800 5000 E-mail: Web: Action for Children Tel: 0300 123 2112 (9 to 5pm week days) E-mail: Web: Police Tel: 999 if a child is at immediate risk, 101 if you think a crime has been committed. UK Safer Internet Centre Tel: 0344 381 4772 E-mail: Web: Childline (for under 18s) Tel: 0800 1111 Web: Thinkuknow – online and offline protection for children from NCA-CEOP Web: Brook Learn – free, high-quality support for SRE education Web://

TikTok App What is TikTok? TikTok is a Chinese-owned, video-sharing, social networking app. It is hugely popular with teens. It has an age limit of 13+ but it is easy to circumvent this restriction using a fake date of birth. TikTok allows users to create short videos of up to 60 seconds, then share them online with friends and other TikTok users. These may be musical, comedy, animals etc. Users can give and get feedback, comments and likes on their performance. They can choose from 1,000s of popular tunes and use lip syncing, dancing and special effects to enhance their videos. The most ‘liked’ performances form part of a leader board, creating competition and an incentive for users to deliver even more memorable performances. The app also allows direct messaging between users, although this function is restricted to users over 16 years.

Is TikTok safe for children? Although it is very popular, and can encourage creativity, the app can also reveal children at their most vulnerable, expressive and, in some cases, provocative, in their bid to become the next internet sensation. The app encourages videos to be shared, and the use of hashtags (#) increases the viewing audience. It has had some bad press over the years due to concerns over deadly pranks, grooming and unsuitable content (eg. bad language, suicidal, pornographic). Inevitably, it attracts paedophiles due to its popularity with children.

What should you do? As with all online accounts, we recommend that parents get involved, so that they understand the apps that their children are keen to use. If you are not comfortable with your child dressing up and behaving suggestively whilst lip syncing to the latest tunes, TikTok is one to avoid. If you do allow your child access, be aware that accounts are public by default, so make sure you activate the privacy settings and other safety features available within the app. Give out as little personal information as possible, keeping your child’s name and location private. TikTok’s website states “Even with a private account, profile information – including profile photo, username, and bio – will be visible to all users. Counsel your teen not to reveal personal information such as age, address, or phone number in his/her profile.” Visit for an explanation of Family Pairing – this requires a parental account as well as a teen account and will enable parents to control screen time, turn off direct messaging, and restrict inappropriate content. Set up accounts to be “private” so that your child can choose who sees and follows their content and who can duet with them. Content shared on public accounts can be seen by anyone. There are “Report” and “Block” functions if your child come across inappropriate content or contact.

See TikTok’s Top 10 Tips for Parents at

Talk to your child about boundaries and the sort of content that should never be shared online. Even young children can get caught up in the drive to collect “likes”, so make sure you have a conversation with them to explain why this is both unwise and not the best way to feel validated. Ask them to show you the sort of content they and their friends are creating or watching and explain what is safe and unsafe. Ask them from time to time if anything is worrying them and remind them to tell you if they come across any inappropriate content or contact. Check their privacy settings from time to time too, to make sure they are still private! Be aware that this app collects personal information of its users and shares it with third parties. For more details see Below is an updated parent guide with information and advice on: Smart Devices They are a number of different ways to secure your child’s device within the phone settings. Some of these are turning off location settings, blocking inappropriate content and disabling app purchasing.

Download PDF • 206KB

Broadband & Mobile Networks Did you know you can restrict certain websites on devices connected to your home router? You can also use these settings to make the home Wi-Fi unavailable to a device after a certain time e.g. bedtime etc. Gaming We look at questions to ask when buying a games console, such as: if the console or games have chat facilities, is your child able to make purchases using their games console, or does your child’s gamertag reveal their identity? Social Media There are many features that you can put in place to ensure social media is safe for your child, such as ensuring accounts are private not public, filtering out inappropriate comments and setting up two-factor authentication. The NSPCC’s Share Aware Campaign is aimed towards the parents and carers of children aged 8 to 12 – the age at which young people start doing more online, begin to become more independent with technology along with increased independence online and have access to a greater range of devices.

The campaign aims to encourage parents and carers to understand online safety and to have conversations with their children about keeping safe.

Having conversations from a young age can help build trust and openness and get preventative messages across.

However, many parents feel confused by the internet and out of their depth in understanding what their children are doing online and what the risks might be. The Share Aware campaign aims to give parents the tools to feel confident to have these conversations. The campaign directs parents to a range of new resources, including Net Aware, a simple NSPCC guide to the social networks, sites and apps children use – as rated by parents and young people themselves.

There is also a downloadable guide and a hard copy booklet for parents, containing top tips for keeping your child safe online, as well conversation starters to help parents have conversations with their children.

You can find these resources and further detailed information regarding the Share Aware campaign here.

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