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Prevent aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Prevent is part of the government's CONTEST Strategy aimed at protecting people and communities from the threat of terrorism. The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on several agencies including schools, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard for the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. This is called the Prevent Duty and the Prevent Duty for schools.

Supporting children worried about terrorism

Talking about terrorism: tips for parents

Children are exposed to news in many ways, and what they can see can worry them. Our advice can help you have a conversation with your child:

  • listen carefully to a child’s fears and worries
  • offer reassurance and comfort
  • avoid complicated and worrying explanations they could be frightening and confusing
  • help them find advice and support to understand distressing events and feelings
  • children can always contact Childline free and confidentially on the phone and online.
  • it’s also important to address bullying and abuse following terrorist attacks.
  • some children my feel targeted because of their faith or appearance.

Look for signs of bullying, and make sure that they know they can talk to you about it. Often children might feel scared of embarrassed, so reassure them it’s not their fault that this is happening and they can always talk to you or another adult they can trust. Alert your child’s school so that they can be aware of the issue.

Dealing with offensive or unkind comments about a child’s faith or background.

If you think this is happening, it’s important to intervene. Calmly explain that comments like this are not acceptable. Your child should also understand that someone’s beliefs do not make them a  terrorist. Explaining that most people are as scare and hurt by the attacks as your child is. You could ask them how they think the other child felt, or ask them how they felt when someone said something unkind to them. Explain what you will do next, such as telling your child’s school, and what you expect the to do.