Risk Outside The Home: Thinking About Language

The  week beginning Monday 19th of June the NSCP delivered briefings on the importance of language with regards to children and young people who experience harm outside of the home. Getting our language right is crucial in one-to-one work, in case recordings, assessments and referrals as well as when we speak with other professionals.

Please use the attached resources to engage with this topic further.


Victim Blaming Language: We discussed how language which either positions young people as being responsible, or blames them for the harm that they suffer is not acceptable and needs to be challenged. Please watch this short video, written and produced with young people.

Making Words Matter: This briefing draws on both evidence and research as well as practice and knowledge from academics, practitioners and Experts by Experience to describe why language is important, the impact of language on a developing child and young person and suggests ways to support practitioners and services in attending to language. This can accessed here.

Child Exploitation Appropriate Language Guide: This document seeks to provide guidance to professionals on the appropriate use of language when discussing children and their experience of exploitation in a range of contexts. These include when speaking directly with or discussing children, within recording and case management systems and when delivering relevant training or other learning interventions.

Why Language Matters: The NSPCC has produced several blogs on why language matters. They explore phrases such as Did Not Attend, Child Sexual Abuse, Reframing Responsibility for Accessing Services, In Need of Attention/Attention Seeking, Malicious Allegations, Older Boyfriend

We hope that these resources are useful in helping to reflect on our practice.