8.9 Children and Young People Susceptible to Violent Extremism

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This policy was last reviewed in Jan 2024.

Date of next reivew Jan 2025


The guidance provides advice on how to manage and respond to concerns of children and young people identified as being vulnerable to and affected by the radicalisation of others.

Related National Guidance: 

Channel and Prevent Multi-Agency Panel (PMAP) guidance

Prevent duty guidance: England and Wales (2023) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Prevent Duty: Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers 2015 

Working together to safeguard children - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

DfE_safeguarding_children_returing_UK_from_Syria_advice_to_LAs.pdf (adcs.org.uk) (The Department for Education and the Home Office have produced guidance on safeguarding British children who have travelled to Syria and are now returning to the UK).






The Counter Terrorism and Security Act, 2015, created a new general ‘Prevent Duty’ under section 26 (1). ‘A specified authority must in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. Specified authorities within the CTS Act, 2015 include all Local Authorities, Schools, Colleges, Universities, Police, Probation, Prisons, Young offenders’ institutions and the Health sector.


Prevent is one of the four strands of CONTEST, the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy.  Safeguarding children and adults who are susceptible to being radicalised or at risk of being drawn into terrorist-related activity or supporting terrorism is one of the main objectives of the Prevent strategy.  It is about early intervention to protect and divert people away from the risk they face before illegality occurs.


A key element of the Prevent strategy is Channel, the process of identifying and referring a person at risk of radicalisation for early intervention and support. It is a multi-agency approach to protect vulnerable people using collaboration between local authorities, statutory partners (such as education and health organisations, social services, children’s and youth services and offender management services), the police and the local community. 

Section 36 (1) of the CTS Act creates a Channel Duty on the Local Authority to ensure that a Channel panel is in place for its area, with the function of assessing the extent to which identified individuals are susceptible to being drawn into terrorism’.  The local authrority is responsible for chairing the local Channel panel.  

Section 38 of the CTS Act places a ‘Duty to Co-operate’ on all partners of a panel – as far as compatible with the partner’s legal responsibilities in respect of their function.    


Prevent addresses all forms of terrorism (extreme right wing, Al-Qaida or Daesh inspired and associated terrorisms, and single issues etc.).

Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and violent extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups.


This glossary of terms may be helpful https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-guidance/glossary-of-terms 


Toolkit for Local Authorities 

This toolkit supports the delivery of the Prevent duty by local authorities in England and Wales by providing practical information and suggestions for local authorities to prevent people from becoming a terrorist or supporting terrorism. It includes examples of good and best practice in putting the Prevent duty guidance into action.

Toolkit for LAs

Understanding and Recognising Risks and Susceptibilities of Radicalisation


Children and young people can be drawn into violence or they can be exposed to the messages of extremist groups by many means.  These can include through the influence of family members or friends and/or direct contact with extremist groups and organisations or, increasingly, through the internet.


Risk of Radicalisation may be combined with other vulnerabilities. Research shows that indicators of vulnerability can include the following, although as there is no specific profile, this list is not exhaustive:

  1. Identity Crisis - Distance from cultural / religious heritage and uncomfortable with their place in the society around them;
  2. Personal Crisis - Family tensions; sense of isolation; adolescence; low self-esteem; disassociating from existing friendship group and becoming involved with a new and different group of friends; searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging;
  3. Personal Circumstances - Migration; local community tensions; events affecting country or region of origin; alienation from UK values; having a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of Government policy;
  4. Unmet Aspirations - Perceptions of injustice; feeling of failure; rejection of civic life;
  5. Criminality - Experiences of imprisonment; poor resettlement / reintegration; previous involvement with criminal groups.

Potential risk indicators include:

  • Use of inappropriate language;
  • Possession of violent extremist literature or accessing extremist websites or material;
  • Behavioural changes;
  • The expression of extremist views;
  • Advocating violent actions and means
  • Association with known extremists;
  • Articulating support for violent extremist causes or leaders;
  • Using extremist views to explain personal disadvantage;
  • Joining or seeking to join extremist organisations;
  • have had potentially traumatic exposure to conflict zones;
  • Seeking to recruit others to an extremist ideology.

Some children may be at risk due to living with or being in direct contact with known extremists


Please see here for Prevent duty risk assessment templates for early years, schools and further education providers.

Prevent duty: risk assessment templates - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

This provides information on how to complete a risk assessment to assess the risk of people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. 

The Prevent Duty: Advice for Schools and Childcare Providers


From 1 July 2015 all schools, childcare providers, registered early years childcare providers and registered later years childcare providers are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.


The DfE has published departmental advice which requires schools and child care providers to:

  • Assesses the risk of children being drawn into terrorism or supporting terrorism
  • Work in partnership with safeguarding partnership agencies, Prevent Boards/Teams and safeguarding policies
  • Ensure staff training in Prevent awareness
  • Ensure that children are safe from online terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in schools.

The Prevent duty: safeguarding learners vulnerable to radicalisation - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Risk Assesment templates for early years, schools and further education providers can be found here - Risk Assessment Templates  


Prevent duty training

Access training courses on the Prevent duty, the threat from terrorism and extremism in the UK and how to support people susceptible to radicalisation.

Prevent duty training - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Please also note the refreshers training that professionals must complete annually.

What to do if you are worried about Radicalisation?


Staff working with children should use their safeguarding partnership Thresholds to assist them in identifying and responding to concerns about children who may be susceptible to radicalisation or being drawn into violent extremist activity.


Any member of staff who identifies such concerns, for example as a result of observed behaviour or reports of conversations to suggest the child supports terrorism and/or violent extremism, must report these concerns to the named or designated safeguarding professional in their organisation or agency, who will consider what further action is required.


The named or designated safeguarding professional, in discussion with other professionals (including the local police/ council Prevent team) as appropriate, will need to determine the most appropriate level and type of support to offer the child and their family:

Level 1 - Universal support, advice and information:

Universal services can raise awareness, offer support, provide advice and guidance and link children and families to community support services. Examples are work on anti-violence addressed throughout the curriculum, citizenship programmes, focussed educational programmes.

Level 2 – Early Help:  

Where there are early signs of potential susceptibilities to radicalisation advice and guidance or simple specialist support from one or two professionals like a health visitor, youth worker, educational support, parenting advice can support the family to prevent susceptibilities to radicalism. Responses could include additional tutoring or mentoring, additional activities within and out of school, family support; increased adult support, supervision and encouragement and family support or parenting programmes. 

At this stage the practitioner and family should agree together if there is a need for an Early Help plan to co-ordinate a simple plan of support which would ordinarily involve more than two agencies.

Level 3 – Targeted Early Help:

 Where efforts at early levels at of support have not prevented concerns or a higher level of targeted and multi-agency response is indicated, an Early Help Assessment and plan should be agreed with the child/young person and parents. These services will provide a keyworker skilled in supporting families, who will lead the TAF and provide additional intervention to support change. Examples of this kind of service are the Think Family Programme, Integrated Support Teams, Intensive Youth Support, Family Resource Team, Family Outreach workers and Early Support Team.

Level 4  – Children’s Social Care Specialist or Statutory Intervention:

Where there are indicators of risks of radicalisation for child/young person or they are thought to be at risk of significant harm, and/or where investigations need to be carried out, a referral to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub should be made.


The named or designated safeguarding professional should consider whether a situation may be so serious that an emergency response is required. Staff should exercise professional judgement and common sense to identify whether an emergency situation applies; examples in relation to violent extremism are expected to be very rare but would apply when there is information that a violent act is imminent or where weapons or other materials may be in the possession of a young person, another member of their family or within the community. In this situation, a 999 call should be made.


Children and young people at risk of radicalisation will also need to be referred for consideration under the local Channel panel, which works in conjunction with existing safeguarding procedures.

Prevent and the Channel process in the NHS: information sharing and governance


When considering the sharing of personal data, there is a need to decide whether it is necessary, proportionate and lawful to share this information when the risk to both the individual and/or the public is considered.

Any disclosures or discussions on sharing personal data or consent must always be documented in an appropriate location in the patient record.

In line with information sharing policy, there should be clarity as to what legal basis the personal data is being shared with and processed by other third parties, and whether it’s being shared for safeguarding purposes, national security or the prevention of crime.

Confidentiality is an important ethical and legal duty, but it is not an absolute and can be overridden without breaching duties of patient or staff confidentiality if the disclosure is for safeguarding or public interest reasons and where the public interest test can be met.

Please see the following guidance for healthcare professionals about how to share information to safeguard individuals from radicalisation: Prevent and the Channel process in the NHS: information sharing and governance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Channel: Referral and Intervention Processes


Channel is the national framework to identify, refer and support individuals susceptible to being drawn into terrorism. It is a multi-agency approach to protect people susceptible to radicalisation. Individuals vulnerable to being drawn into terrorist related activities or supporting terrorism can expect to be supported by the ‘Channel’ multi-agency panel. The Channel Panel will:

  • identify individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism;
  • assess the nature and extent of that risk; and
  • Develop the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned including, for example, interventions such as faith mentors.

The panel is responsible for managing the safeguarding risk which is in line with other multi-agency panels where risk is managed, such as Children and Adult Safeguarding panels and Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).


Since December 2019, there is a single pathway to refer an individual who may be susceptible to being drawn into terrorism or extremism in Sussex. If concerned , please complete the National Prevent Referral Form and email completed forms to: 

For Brighton & Hove referrals: PreventReferralsbrightonandhove@sussex.pnn.police.uk

For East Sussex referrals: PreventReferralseastsussex@sussex.pnn.police.uk

For West Sussex referrals: PreventReferralswestsussex@sussex.pnn.police.uk

The completed Prevent form will go to:

  1. Prevent Policing Team (for initial screening and to consider if suitable to discuss at the Channel Panel);
  2. Front Door For Families (Brighton & Hove)/ SPOA (East Sussex)/ Integrated Front Door (West Sussex)


Interventions and Support

Sussex Police Prevent Team:

Telephone 101 | Ext. 531355

Email: prevent@sussex.pnn.police.uk


Local Channel Panel Chairs in Brighton & Hove

Nahida Shaikh, Prevent Coordinator, Brighton & Hove City Council

Tel: 01273 290584

Email: Nahida.Shaikh@brighton-hove.gcsx.gov.uk


Local Channel Panel Chairs in East Sussex

For East Sussex:

Adult Panels; Kellie Clarke

Designated Adult Safeguarding Operations Manager ESCC


Tel: 01273 482777

Children’s Panels: Donald LINDO

Independent Reviewing Officer Safeguarding Unit ESCC CS


Tel: 01323 466115

Local Channel Panel Chairs in West Sussex

For West Sussex:

Beverly Knight

Countering Extremism Team, Community Safety & Wellbeing, WSCC

Telephone 0330 222 4223 | Mobile 0789 458 9071

Email: beverly.knight@westsussex.gov.uk


This page is correct as printed on Sunday 23rd of June 2024 12:23:28 AM please refer back to this website (http://sussexchildprotection.procedures.org.uk) for updates.