During the current situation there has been a rapid increase in the number of organisations moving activities online. It is important that all who work with young people online adhere to safeguarding best practice. We have brought a range of resources together to help you think through the issues.
Some risks that should be kept in mind include:
- The opportunity for grooming/sexual exploitation
- Sharing of personal contact details of young people and youth workers
- Inappropriate conversations between young people and workers
- Potential allegations against workers
- Use of apps with minimum age restrictions
- The facilitation of abusive or unkind behaviour (cyber-bullying) between young people
- Particular risks associated with children in care or those known to children’s services
ThirtyOneEight and Youthscape: Creating safer places online.
This is the most useful place to start if you are looking for guidance for communicating and working safely with young people online.
Church of England: Guidance for the safe use of video-calling with young people.
National Youth Agency: Online youth work safety guidelines.
Youth for Christ: If you have never ventured online much, there are some great tips in these films to get you started. If you are a seasoned pro, then the safeguarding film will help you as you shift your communication online. Getting started guides how to safely use the most popular platforms.
NSPCC Learning: resources to help keep children and young people safe while teaching in a remote or unusual setting. Topics covered include: consent; contacting children at home; child protection concerns; online safety and mental health and wellbeing.
NSPCC Learning: how to have difficult conversations with children including information about talking to children about coronavirus. The content covers: preparing for a conversation, having a conversation and support from Childline.
Childline: Information for children and young people about coronavirus. The page includes information about: what coronavirus is; where children and young people can find help if they are worried; coping if they are staying at home; and what to do if they are feeling unwell.