Guidance on Prevent and the Channel Programme
What is Prevent?
Prevent is the Government’s strategy to stop people becoming involved in violent extremism or supporting terrorism, in all its forms. Prevent works within the non-criminal space, using early engagement to encourage individuals and communities to challenge violent extremist ideologies and behaviours.
What is Channel?
Channel is an early intervention multi-agency process designed to safeguard vulnerable people from being drawn into violent extremist or terrorist behaviour. Channel works in a similar way to existing safeguarding partnerships aimed at protecting vulnerable people.
Who does Channel work with?
Channel is designed to work with individuals of any age who are at risk of being exploited by extremist or terrorist ideologues. The process is shaped around the circumstances of each person and can provide support for any form of radicalisation or personal vulnerabilities.
How does Channel work?
Each Channel Panel is chaired by a local authority and brings together a range of multi-agency partners to collectively assess the risk and can decide whether a support package is needed. The group may include statutory and non-statutory partners, as well as lead safeguarding professionals. If the group feels the person would be suitable for Channel, it will look to develop a package of support that is bespoke to the person. The partnership approach ensures those with specific knowledge and expertise around the vulnerabilities of those at risk are able to work together to provide the best support.
What does Channel support look like?
Channel interventions are delivered through local partners and specialist agencies. The support may focus on a person’s vulnerabilities around health, education, employment or housing, as well as specialist mentoring or faith guidance and broader diversionary activities such as sport. Each support package is tailored to the person and their particular circumstances.
How will the person be involved in this process?
A person will always be informed first if it’s felt that they would benefit from Channel support. The process is voluntary and their consent would be needed before taking part in the process. This process is managed carefully by the Channel Panel.
Who can make a referral?
Anyone can make a referral. Referrals come from a wide range of partners including education, health, youth offending teams, police and social services.
What happens with the referral?
Referrals are first screened for suitability through a preliminary assessment by the Channel Coordinator and the local authority. If suitable, the case is then discussed at a Channel panel of relevant partners to decide if support is necessary.
Raising a concern
If you believe that someone is vulnerable to being exploited or radicalised, please use the established safeguarding or duty of care procedures within your organisation to escalate your concerns to the appropriate leads, who can raise concerns to Channel if appropriate.
Below is an online link to a general awareness training module on Channel. The module is suitable for front-line workers. It provides an introduction, including how to identify factors that can make people vulnerable to radicalisation, and case studies illustrating the types of intervention that may be appropriate, in addition to Channel.
For referrals to Channel or for more information around the process, in the first instance contact your local authority Prevent Coordinator.