Child Radicalisation

You may have heard the term Radicalisation in relation to terrorist attacks, but what does child radicalisation really mean and why do you need to know about it?

In this post we seek to answer some key questions about Child Radicalisation and provide you with several places to go for more in-depth information and training.

As Childline summarise:

‘Radicalisation is when someone starts to believe or support extreme views. They could be pressured to do things by someone else. Or they might change their behaviour and beliefs…Someone who has been radicalised might believe that sexual, religious or racial violence is OK. They might have links to extremist groups that preach hate like Nazi groups or Islamic extremists like Daesh, also known as ISIS or IS.’ (Childline)

What’s the difference between Radicalisation and Violent Extremism?

Those that seek to radicalise others could be from a diverse range of ethnic, national, political and religious groups. Radicalisation becomes violent extremism if they decide that using fear, terror or violence is justified to achieve ideological, political or social change. (living safe together)

What do we need to know about Child Radicalisation?

Radicalisation is now considered a mandatory training requirement for all working with under 18’s and it clearly fits within Safeguarding responsibilities. According to NSPCC, ‘Radicalisation has become one of this century’s most pressing child protection issues, and not one that’s likely to go away.’ NSPCC It’s clear that those that care for or work with children and young people need to know the risks and signs of child radicalisation and youth radicalisation.

To tackle this increasing concern, UK Government produced “The Prevent Duty” as part of The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. This is a duty on specified authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.’ This includes ‘Guidance for schools and childcare providers on preventing children and young people from being drawn into terrorism’. (The prevent duty)

What does the Child Radicalisation process look like?

There are many parallels with “Grooming”, as pointed out by NSPCC:

The techniques used to groom children for radicalisation has parallels to sexual abuse grooming, and is a form of emotional abuse.’ (NSPCC)

Children who are at risk of radicalisation may have low self-esteem or be victims of bullying or discrimination, Extremists might target them and tell them that they can be part of something special, later brainwashing them into cutting themselves off from their friends and family. NSPCC

This is part of a whole Grooming process, which we cover in great depth in our e-learning module.

What role does the Internet and Social Media play in child radicalisation?

The propensity of Internet and Social Media usage among young people has undoubtedly increased the ease with which extremists can target them. We explore this is great detail in our Online Safety course. Perpetrators often pretend to be someone else and build a friendship with the young person, whilst gradually encouraging them to adopt extremist views and beliefs.

What are the warning signs of child radicalisation?

Social Care Training Solutions are here to support your teams in navigating this topic. Feel free to explore our relevant courses and get in touch to discuss a bespoke program for your teams.

Relevant training:

Radicalisation in Young People

Online Safety



Further reading and useful links: