Risk Management

This section summarises a number of potential risks that an impact upon young people in their social and family lives.  It is intended to raise awareness of these risks and encourage their consideration when working with young people, rather than providing a comprehensive intervention package.  These points should be read in conjunction with our Policies and Procedures.




Bullying is a serious issue that affects many young people and for some can cause considerable harm, either through immediate impacts or through long-term loss of confidence and self-esteem.  It can be difficult for young people living together to discuss bullying or to raise concerns because of fear of reprisals.  However, group living is not an excuse for bullying to occur we operate a zero tolerance policy towards bullying

  • Staff receive specific training around bullying issues

  • Staff remain vigilant around the Home at all times and work as a team to safeguard each young person and to monitor the homes dynamics

  • All staff should read and be familiar with our anti - bullying policy

  • Young people are informed of the zero-tolerance response to bullying before moving into Howard House or Tile Sheds and are given our child friendly bullying policy

  • Young People will undertake educational workshop within school on the subject of Anti-Bullying undertaken by an outside provider.

  • Concerns will be discussed through team meetings, individual sessions and at times young people’s meetings or mediation

  • The bullying log is completed upon each incident of bullying so that effective monitoring can be undertaken

  • Social workers will be involved in discussing strategies for managing bullying where appropriate

  • Young people will be supported in contacting outside agencies for advice in support at any time, e.g. advocacy service, police and complaints officer.

  • Young people have access to telephone numbers to seek support and have the means to make an independent complaint

Young people who go missing


To be followed in conjunction with Northumberland’s LSCB Children and Young People Missing Guidance​

  • Young people are supported in having arranged overnight stays with friends and relatives where this is appropriate (DBS checks are not normally required)

  • All young people will be advised of how to contact Howard House/Tile Sheds and why they should remain in contact, particularly around their coming in times

  • We can provide a mobile phone so that young people can text and ask for return calls

  • Young people will undertake an educational workshop on the subject of staying safe on the streets undertaken by an outside provider.

  • Staff follow the joint protocol agreed with police and our policies and procedures

  • A risk assessment for each young person is agreed with the care team (and those with parental responsibility where appropriate) outlining arrangements for when a young person goes missing

  • Young people are made aware of procedures that will be followed upon admission

  • We aim to help young people to manage their own safety and to make informed choices so that they can prepare for moving towards independent living

  • Missing person incidents are monitored by the registered person

  • A monthly review of the missing person records is conducted by the Registered Person

Young people are encouraged to access advocacy support or to choose another person who they wish to talk to regarding any concerns they may have.

Substance use


Young people are encouraged to choose who they form friendships and intimate relationships with.  Staff can offer advice about staying safe and making appropriate choices and will monitor situations where relationships of power imbalance or intimacy appear within the Home.  While young people have the right to form intimate relationships of their choice, there must be boundaries within the Home as a shared living space and care must be taken to ensure that neither young person is in a situation of being coerced

  • Staff will discuss friendship and relationship choices with young people

  • Staff will raise any concerns about relationships amongst young people if they arise

  • Staff will be present around the Home to ensure awareness of and involvement with young people

  • Staff will follow policies and procedures

  • Staff will make checks of the home if they have concerns over the welfare of any young person

  • Young people will be informed that any intimate relationship amongst residents will be discussed with both social workers to reach agreement about appropriacy of placement – the young people’s views will be represented

  • Where any relationship between young people constitutes bullying or a safeguarding concern, the necessary processes will be instigated

  • Young people will be encouraged to bring friends and partners to the Home, but this will be risk assessed if any concerns arise

Domestic violence


Young people may be a victim of or a witness to domestic violence. Whether a victim or a witness, this is abusive and children need to be protected.  Staff will offer support in discussing concerns and seeking help from appropriate agencies.  Advice is always available from our senior practitioners and/or Clinical Child Psychologist. 

Medication & Illness

  • Medication is stored within the Home in accordance with our Policies & Procedures

  • Specific medication / Health related issues will be identified and have a related intervention plan and/or risk assessment associated with them.

  • Where young people do self-administer, they will be helped to understand how to store their medication safely and staff will carry out weekly checks to ensure there is no risk of harm to others

  • Where any concerns arise about the use of medication, it will be stored securely by Howard House/Tile Sheds

  • Work is undertaken to help young people to identify their own health needs and access the necessary support so that they can be prepared for living independently.

  • Consent to receive first aid and emergency treatment is received upon admission

  • A first aid, medication and treatment record is kept for each young person

  • All statutory health checks are carried out

  • At any time, a first aid trained member of staff is on shift

  • All staff renew mandatory first aid training as required

  • Staff provide necessary support to the young person and the family if they become ill

  • Health professionals are involved for advice and support as required (e.g. NHS Helpline Tel: 0845 604669)


  • The management team carry out risk assessments annually (or as required) to ensure the safety of the building and surroundings.

  • Young people are informed wherever possible when any risks arise that may lead to accident

  • If an accident occurs, staff will use their first aid training to decide on steps to be taken

  • Medical advice or emergency services will be sought as necessary

  • Any risks to others should be minimized where possible or help sought from relevant services

  • If a young person requires a hospital visit, staff will support them

  • The accident book is completed

Death of a young person

  • Staff follow guidance in Policies & Procedures

  • The registered person must be informed immediately

  • Notifications are necessary to the registered provider, Ofsted and the Secretary of State within 24 hours.

Emotional resilience


Emotional resilience is essential for managing many of the issues that young people in residential care are faced with.  Staff will work with young people at their own pace to encourage them to manage their emotions and responses and to consider the impact of these on the outcomes they wish to achieve.  This is a difficult skill to measure but one which can be fostered through persistent support for young people, role modelling and accepting when things go wrong.


Where young people face difficulties and may benefit from some support, or there are concerns about their mental health, CAMHS/CYP’s can accept a referral through the social worker.  There is also a Clinical Child Psychologist within the Howard House organisation who can offer support to young people and also to the staff team.

Self-harm & Suicide

  • Some young people feel a need to self harm and this can take a variety of forms.  Most severely this can result in attempts by the young person to take their life.

  • Staff should follow the guidance in our Policies & Procedures.

  • The primary concern is always the young person

  • Risk assessments and professional advice will be arranged when concerns arise

  • The young person will be supported in finding other outlets for their feelings

  • A referral to CAMHS/CYP’s can be made

  • In an emergency situation, the Crisis team can be requested to make an assessment at hospital

Child Sexual Exploitation

  • Any concern that a young person is being sexually exploited must be raised through the young person’s social worker as a safeguarding concern

  • Appropriate procedures will be followed – see Flowchart 2, page 9

  • Where a young person is suspected to be involved in prostitution, Ofsted must be notified

  • Further guidance is available within Northumberland’s Safeguarding Children’s Board policies and all staff should read and familiarise themselves with our policy and procedures regarding C.S.E



For children growing up now, the internet is a fact of life and children’s lives will be increasingly ‘web based’, whether on their personal computers, games consoles, mobile telephones, at home or at school. While the benefits it can offer with regards to education and learning are immeasurable, it can also pose risks and possible harm for young people.

To read our entire E-Safety document which is an extension of this Safeguarding policy please click here.