Skip to main content
Jersey SPB Logo
Size: View this website with small text View this website with medium text View this website with large text View this website with high visibility

Safeguarding Children and Young people against Radicalisation and Violent Extremism

Working Together to Safeguard Children specifies that Local Safeguarding Children Boards, local authorities and their partners should be commissioning and providing services for children who are likely to suffer, or may have suffered significant harm, due to radicalisation and extremism.

The Jersey Safeguarding Board intends to follow best practice that allows local agencies to work effectively in order to protect vulnerable children, young people and adults from being subjected to radicalism and extremism. The Prevent Strategy, published by the UK Government in 2011, is part of an overall counter-terrorism strategy called CONTEST. The aim of the Prevent strategy is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It is possible for Jersey residents to access help from the Prevent initiative. One of the main elements of the Prevent strategy is to provide multi agency support to children and young people being exposed to violent extremism. The support that is offered is tailored for each case and could consist of help with family problems, mental health assistance and mentoring.

Quick Links:

Protection and Action to be taken
Further Information
Amendments to this Chapter


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

“Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas” (HM Government Prevent Strategy 2011).

Since the publication of the Prevent Strategy, there has been an awareness of the specific need to safeguard children, young people and families from violent extremism. There have been attempts to radicalise vulnerable children and young people to develop extreme views including views justifying political, religious, sexist or racist violence, or to steer them into a rigid and narrow ideology that is intolerant of diversity and leaves them vulnerable to future radicalisation.

Keeping children safe from these risks is a safeguarding matter and should be approached in the same way as safeguarding children from other risks. Children should be protected from messages of all violent extremism.


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 via Social media or other websites. This can put a young person at risk of being drawn into criminal activity and has the potential to lead to the child or young person suffering significant harm’.

This may take the form of a “grooming” process where the vulnerabilities of a young person are exploited to form an exclusive friendship which draws the young person away from other influences that might challenge the radical ideology. The risk of radicalisation can develop over time and may relate to a number of factors in the child’s life. Identifying the risks require practitioners to exercise their professional judgement and to seek further advice as necessary. The risk may be combined with other vulnerabilities or may be the only risk identified.

On-line content in particular social media may pose a specific risk in normalising radical views and promoting content that is shocking and extreme; children can be trusting and may not necessarily appreciate bias, which can lead to being drawn into such groups and to adopt their extremist views.


With regard to issues that may make an individual vulnerable to radicalisation, these can include:

  • Identity Crisis - Distance from cultural / religious heritage and uncomfortable with their   place in the society around them;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Unmet aspirations - Perceptions of injustice; feeling of failure; rejection of community values;
  • Criminality - Experiences of imprisonment; previous involvement with criminal groups.

However those closest to the individual may first notice the following changes of behaviour:

  • General changes of mood, patterns of behaviour, secrecy;
  • Changes of friends and mode of dress;
  • Use of inappropriate language;
  • Possession of violent extremist literature;
  • The expression of extremist views;
  • Advocating violent actions and means;
  • Association with known extremists;
  • Seeking to recruit others to an extremist ideology.

There is an obvious difference between espousing radical and extreme views and acting on them and practitioners should ensure that assessments place behaviour in the family and social context of the young person and include information about the young person’s peer group and conduct and behaviour at school.  Holding radical or extreme views is not illegal, but inciting a person to commit an act in the name of any belief is in itself an offence.

Protection and Action to be taken

Any practitioner identifying concerns about the child or young person should report them to the designated safeguarding lead in their organisation, who will discuss these concerns with the police. The Jersey Safeguarding Board’s Children and Young Person Safeguarding Referrals Procedure should be followed. A multi-agency assessment meeting (MASH) (see Children and Young Person Safeguarding Referrals Procedure) will determine the appropriate response and level of support to the family. Response should be proportionate, with the emphasis on supporting vulnerable children and young people, unless there is evidence of more active involvement in extremist activities.

Consideration should be given to the possibility that sharing information with parents may increase the risk to the child and therefore may not be appropriate. However, experience has shown that parents are key in challenging radical views and extremist behaviour and should be included in interventions unless there are clear reasons why not.

Wherever possible the response should be appropriately and proportionately provided from within the normal range of universal provision of the organisation working with other local agencies and partners. Responses could include curriculum provision, additional tutoring or mentoring, additional activities within and out of school and family support.

Where a higher level of targeted and multi-agency response is indicated a formal multi-agency assessment should be conducted. The assessment process may lead to a Strategy Discussion, Article 42 Enquiry and an Initial Child Protection Conference, if there are concerns about the child or young person suffering significant harm.

Where concerns are identified in respect of potential signs of radicalisation which indicate the child or young person is vulnerable, the person raising the concerns should discuss their concerns with the Channel police lead who will decide if a referral to channel is required or if services at tier 2 are sufficient to manage concerns.

Where there is an identified risk/ potential risk that a child young person may be involved/ potentially involved in supporting or following extremism, further investigation by the police will be required, prior to other assessments and interventions.


Protecting children and young people from radicalisation and extremism requires careful assessment and working collaboratively across agencies as initially concerns may be inconclusive and protecting child or young person against a potential risk can be dependent on a wider range of factors. Sharing information effectively and keeping the child and young person in focus should be the main aim of any interventions and services.

Amendments to this Chapter

In June 2019, this chapter was updated to include a link to the Prevent Strategy.