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Fostering in the Digital Age. Young people and the online world Increasingly young people make very little distinction between their lives online and.

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Presentation on theme: "Fostering in the Digital Age. Young people and the online world Increasingly young people make very little distinction between their lives online and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fostering in the Digital Age

2 Young people and the online world Increasingly young people make very little distinction between their lives online and off. Being a foster carer in the digital age means dealing with issues that are created and amplified by technology. The internet is a fantastic resource but going online has its risks.

3 Online risk and children in care Offline and online vulnerability are correlated – children who are at risk in the offline world are more likely to face risk online. Looked after children may have specific vulnerabilities that could put them at risk online. Children in care are… Four times more likely to have a mental health disorder. Eight times more likely to be excluded from school. At higher risk of sexual exploitation. Four times more likely to commit suicide as adults.

4 Specific issues for looked after children Contact from their birth parents or people from their past. Over-sharing of personal information. Bullying and risk-taking behaviour. Difficulty accepting new online rules or monitoring.

5 Online safety: how you can help Building young people’s resilience is key in helping them stay safe online. Research shows that things like mutual trust and stability can make a real difference for looked after children. Bringing your offline caring skills online is the first step.

6 The WWW approach: A simple strategy for minimising harm and managing risk online Just like offline, it matters… Who children connect with Where they go What they do

7 Contact Contact arrangements are carefully worked out to ensure a young person’s safety. Today someone from your child’s past could use the internet to have unauthorised or unsupervised contact. Online contact could undermine a placement, give an abuser continued access to a child, etc.

8 Using the WWW approach: Contact Who: Remind your child that the offline rules still apply – if people from their past aren’t meant to have contact they shouldn’t be getting in touch online. Where: Depending on the arrangements in place some types of contact might be permitted and others might not. Make sure your child knows where people from their past should and shouldn’t be contacting them. What: Discuss the risks of oversharing and help your child set strong privacy settings to prevent unauthorised contact.

9 Bullying 38% of young people say they’ve experienced cyberbullying. Children who are known to be in care might be seen as ‘different’ and targeted by bullies. Some looked after children struggle with making friends which could also make them more vulnerable.

10 Using the WWW approach: Bullying Who: Block or report any users who are causing trouble. Where: Some sites (like Ask.fm) are associated with more bullying than others. Your child can avoid them to reduce risk. What: Take screenshots of bullying messages or photos to preserve the evidence.

11 Questions ?

12 Benefits of the internet You can… Help your child research a topic that interests them or learn more about something they enjoy. Talk about safe and fun ways to build community and maintain friendships using social media. Take an interest in their online lives and encourage them to share what they learn with you. It’s not just about managing risk – your children may need help to take advantage of all the internet has to offer.

13 Positive internet use Self advocacy Information Community Education Empowerment

14 Reporting concerns Illegal content can be reported to the Internet Watch Foundation Look for the Click CEOP button


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