Some children and young people place themselves at risk of significant harm from their own behaviour. Concerns about these children and young people can be just as significant as concerns relating to children who are at risk because of their care environment. The main difference is the source of risk, though it should be recognised that at least some of the negative behaviour may stem from experiences of abuse. The key test for triggering child protection processes should always be the level of risk to the individual child or young person and whether the risk is being addressed, not the source of risk.
While not exhaustive, the following lists the different types of concern that may arise:
- self-harm and/or suicide attempts;
- alcohol and/or drug misuse;
- running away/going missing;
- inappropriate sexual behaviour or relationships (including under-age sexual activity);
- sexual exploitation;
- problematic or harmful sexual behaviour;
- violent behaviour; and
- criminal activity.