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Empowering all parents and carers to support young people on the internet: launch event at Islington Town Hall

  • Event hosted by Childnet, Islington Council and London Grid for Learning celebrates the launch of new e-safety resources for parents and carers

  • Expert panel includes Facebook, Virgin Media and the British Association of Adoption and Fostering

On Monday 10th November, Childnet, Islington Council and London Grid for Learning hosted an event to celebrate the launch of two new resources that will help support parents and carers in keeping their children safe online.

With the aim of empowering all parents and carers to support young people on the internet, the launch event brought together an expert panel with representatives from Facebook, Virgin Media, BAAF, Islington Council, Childnet, as well as two Looked After Children, who highlighted the hugely important role that parents and carers play in supporting children and young people to stay safe online.

The resources

Childnet launched two new resources to help support all parents and carers to keep their children safe online:

Guides for foster carers and adoptive parents: Developed in partnership with Islington Council’s adoption and fostering teams, Childnet have launched leaflets for foster carers and adoptive parents, who can face particular challenges when keeping children safe online, as social media can facilitate contact with birth families; and offline vulnerabilities can increase the chances of being exposed to online risks such as cyberbullying and sexual exploitation.

11 translations of Childnet’s parents leaflet: Developed with support from the London Grid for Learning, Childnet have also launched e-safety leaflets for parents and carers in 11 additional languages, to help empower all parents and carers, including those with English as a second language.

Expert panel discussion

The launch event at Islington Town Hall brought together an expert panel of industry representatives, educators and adoption and fostering experts. Opened by Will Gardner, Childnet CEO, and Eleanor Schooling, Islington Council’s Director of Children’s Services, the panel discussion explored how parents and carers can support children online, and addressed the particular challenges faced by foster carers, adoptive parents, and parents with English as a second language.

Industry representatives, Rosa Birch from Facebook and Dan Butler from Virgin Media, discussed the tools available to help parents and carers manage privacy, report concerns and restrict access to inappropriate content, while it was recognised that these technical solutions are not sufficient on their own to protect children, and the active involvement of parents, carers and other trusted adults is essential.

Gareth Cort from Childnet discussed how parents and carers need to have an ongoing dialogue with children about staying safe online, and how to go about that; and Jacqui Lawrence from the British Association of Adoption and Fostering shared how curiosity is key - both in embracing and managing children’s natural curiosity, and in our responsibly as parents and carers to be actively curious in learning more about technology and children’s digital lives.

The event’s discussions were brought to life by two young people who are part of Islington Council Social Care’s children’s active involvement service. The young people emphasised that children in care can be more vulnerable to online risk, and that cyberbullying was one of the biggest concerns for young people. While they said that young people can be worried about telling an adult about any online issues, having an open dialogue and trust is so important.

The launch event which was attended by a large audience of foster carers, adoptive parents, schools, councils and fostering and adoption agencies, highlighted the important role that parents and carers play in supporting children and young people to stay safe online, and the launch of these new resources will help to empower all parents and carers to do this confidently.

 

 

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Media contacts

For media enquiries, please contact Hannah Broadbent at Childnet: hannah@childnet.com / 0207 639 6967

Notes to editors

  • About the resources

This event celebrates the launch of two new e-safety resources from UK charity, Childnet:

Childnet’s parents' leaflet, now available in 11 additional languages, with thanks to support from London Grid for Learning, ECPAT and South West Grid for Learning

Leaflets for foster carers and adoptive parents, developed by Childnet and Islington Council

  • About Childnet

Childnet is a UK-based charity set up to empower children, families and schools in the digital age, and its vision is to make the internet a great a safe place for children. Launching in 1995, just two years after the public launch of the open web, it has stayed at the cutting edge of the latest tech trends by speaking to thousands of children and parents face-to-face each year. Childnet has created a number of innovative resources, from the recently launched app version of its celebrated children’s storybook, Digiduck’s Big Decision, to its award-winning suite of cyberbullying resources, Let’s Fight IT Together, which includes films, interactive games and government-backed guidance for schools. Childnet continually seeks to help the most vulnerable in society, recently launching resources for young people with autism spectrum disorders, and for foster carers and adoptive parents. In 2010 Childnet was appointed by the European Commission as the UK Safer Internet Centre, together with SWGfL and IWF. In this role Childnet coordinates Safer Internet Day, which has grown tenfold in the last four years, and in 2014 reached 25% of UK children, 18% of teens and 10% of parents.

All of Childnet’s resources and advice are available at www.childnet.com.