- In online environments and when using technology such as computers, mobile phones or games consoles – online safety is an essential element of safeguarding children and young people as well as vulnerable adults.
- Online safety is not about restricting children/young people and vulnerable adults use of technology or banning access as this may compound difficult to manage behaviour; online safety is about focusing on education and raising awareness of the risks and building resilience so that we can all be confident and safer online.
- To view the NLAFC (North London Foster Carers Councils) online training course aims click the following link: Online safety within fostering households NLAFC Aims .
- The internet offers exciting benefits and opportunities for everyone, but it can also expose children and vulnerable adults to inappropriate and criminal behaviour. It’s important that we are aware of the risks and know how to appropriately safeguard children and vulnerable adults who go on-line.
- Some recent NSPCC (2017:14) research shows that ‘technology-assisted harmful sexual behaviour’ only appear to have come from families characterised by significantly higher levels of stability, less trauma and more positive parental relationships than those with dual harmful sexual behaviour and offline harmful sexual behaviour only. Whilst the London Child Protection Procedures (2018: 8.6.2) states that ‘the distribution of child abuse images continues to grow (a recent UK police operation seized over 750,000 images). Research shows that in the UK, over eight million children have access to the internet and a high proportion of these children (1 in 12), have met someone offline who they initially encountered in an online environment’.
- Thus, it’s also important that all users of the internet are aware of the legal consequences of their online actions, both the pros and cons!
- Taking care, being safer and responsible online and offline are an important part of child development and it is essential that all adults are aware and able to discuss this with children and young people as soon as they are online.
- Online safety is an essential component of fostering households family/safer caring policies.
- Parents or carers who regularly expose a child to online content which may pose a risk of harm or deliberately expose child to illegal content or content online which puts a child at immediate risk of harm would usually be investigated by the police and social services.