Salford Young Carers and Young Adult Carers Service offer a Bully Free Zone. This means that all bullying that they are aware of is dealt with.

In activities or groups run by us bullying will not be tolerated. 75% of young carers are bullied by other young people, either in the community or at school, because they are carers. We will not accept it within our service. Also if you are being bullied at school, college, community or anywhere else let us know we will help you deal with it.

To show you we are serious about tackling bullying we are active members of the council led group working with all organisations to make Salford a safe place for young people, both in real life and online. We are the first Young Carers Service in England to be awarded the BIG award, a nationally accredited award, for the work we do around keeping young people safe and reducing bullying.

Your Young Carers Service does not just talk the talk, we walk the walk! So if you see someone being bullied let us know. Do not be scared to ask for help either for yourself or someone else.

And remember, bullying is not just young person to young person. Sometimes it is carried out by adults, who say inappropriate things about caring. This is bullying as well - challenge it as it is not acceptable.

For those of you who are interested, the following is our bullying policy:

Bullying is an aggressive or insulting behaviour by an individual or group, often repeated over a period of time that intentionally hurts or harms. Research confirms the destructive effects of bullying on young people’s lives. Although some can shrug it off, bullying can produce feelings of powerlessness, isolation from others, undermine self esteem and sometimes convince the victims that they are at fault. It can affect attitudes to and performance in school. For some, it can lead to serious and prolonged distress and long-term damage to social and emotional development
— OFSTED 2003 definition adopted by Salford City Council and Salford Young Carers.
 

Research shows that 70% of young carers are bullied within school and their local communities, often this bullying is via the third person, the person they care for.

We aim to work closely with all other providers within Salford to ensure recognition of third party bullying and support for young carers within other environments, whilst acknowledging that young carers themselves can at times be bullies.

Because of this wider stance with regards to young carers being both victims and possible perpetrators of bullying, we adopt a zero tolerance attitude to bullying be it verbal, physical, or in relation to race, religion, culture, or sexual orientation, or cyber.

This policy is written to fit into and stand alongside the policies developed by Salford City Council.

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All organisations working with young people will experience bullying at some point. Salford Young Carer's mission is to be a 'Bully Free Zone' within all its groups/activities, whilst minimising the number of external incidents that take place and affect young carers.


All employed staff both within the core team and the extended team are aware of the anti bullying stance of the organisation.

All young people and their parents/carers are made aware about the anti bullying stance from the initial point of contact and assessment as a possible young carer.

All groups will start with a discussion to set boundaries and expectations of behaviour, these boundaries are then reviewed as and when needed.

It is made clear from the outset that all bullying internal or external, is taken seriously and will be dealt with. This will include supporting families and young people challenging bullying at school by both peers and the 'institute'.

It is made clear from the outset that all young people we work with have the right to be safe at all times.

It is made clear from the outset that no action will be taken against a third person who reports bullying unless they can show to have acted out of malice.

All young people we work with should be safe and therefore all staff are aware of the importance of positive role models. All staff are expected to challenge all inappropriate behaviour, especially behaviour that can lead to bullying. All staff are responsible for the behaviour and safety of the young people within their groups.

All awareness sessions, both for pupils in schools and professionals, including teachers, will include a section on direct bullying, third party bullying and 'institutional' bullying and the effects it will have on young carers.


When an Incident is reported and/or seen;

Internal;

  • Staff in groups should challenge behaviour immediately.
  • Core worker should talk to the victim and gain their version of events first.
  • This, coupled with what has been seen / reported, is then used to discuss the incident with the perpetrator.
  • Resolution to the situation should be sought as both young people will be carers and in need of support.
  • If necessary, following further investigation or repeated incident, alternative methods of support will be looked at for the perpetrator.
  • Only in extreme circumstances will 'group' support be withdrawn.
  • No matter how small an incident may seem, it should always be reported to the manager and recorded on the bullying monitoring sheets, along with all actions taken.
  • All incidents should also be fed back to the parents/carers of the young people involved and they should be informed of all actions taken.
  • If it is felt an incident is serious, workers should contact the manager to discuss or for advice.

External;

  • All incidents of bullying reported to us by young carers, that have taken place within educational establishments, youth provision and /or the wider community will be challenged using the appropriate procedures in place.
  • Young Carers will be supported during the process of dealing with an incident.
  • All incidents and their outcomes will be followed up by the Young Carers Service.
  • All incidents reported to us will be recorded on the bullying monitoring sheets along with all actions taken.
  • The bullying monitoring sheets will be discussed at weekly team meetings.
  • We will ensure the family are aware of all incidents that take place and actions taken to resolve issues.
  • All issues of bullying within the wider community will be assessed for their severity and roots. If the incidents are growing out of either the Young Carers Service or educational/youth establishments they will be dealt with as above. If they are rooted within the community they will be recorded as above and brought to the attention of the relevant agencies, such as Housing Support Officers, Community Support Workers, and Police.
  • All incidents of institutional bullying must be reported to the manager as soon as possible. It is the manager’s responsibility to address such incidents with the establishment
  • Our stand is that to bully someone either because they are disabled, or are a carer for someone with a disability, including mental health issues, is in fact a hate crime and must be treated as such.

Cyber Bullying

Many young carers are very clear that mobile phones and other digital technologies are not toys to them but are often life lines to and from the person they care for. It is therefore vital that they are allowed to use such technology in a safe and secure way without the fear of being bullied whilst using them.

The threat of being bullied by text, BBM and email will be addressed in initial group meetings where boundaries are set.

In set group sessions, such as Forum meetings or focussed groups, mobiles and similar devisees must be turned off.

Any reported incidents of bullying by any of the above methods will be dealt with exactly as laid out above for internal as well as external incidents and recorded as such.

If the evidence shows that the comments made constitute either a hate crime and or sexual exploitation the young person and their family will be supported in involving the police.

The lead person for the monitoring, reviewing and management of the bullying policy is the manager of the Young Carers Service.

Reviewed October 2014