Using the internet and being online has become part of everyday life for young people. The use of laptops, tablets and smart phones is part of home and school life, offering a wealth of interaction and information at the touch of a button.
Whilst this is a great resource for young people, we are aware of the potential risks. We know that looked after children can be more vulnerable because of early experiences, or the instability of being in foster care. We therefore felt it was important to ensure that young people were informed and aware of the potential online risks.
We recently delivered Internet Awareness sessions to 11 young people aged 8-14. The sessions were aimed at raising awareness with young people to support them in using the internet safely, responsibly and positively. The young people took part in discussions and activities to:
- Increase their knowledge of Internet Safety
- Be more aware of the dangers of sharing information online
- Have an understanding of their Digital Footprint
- Be aware of the risks that may present themselves with online use
- Have an understanding of how to identify and protect themselves from the risks attached to online use
- Access peer support with others in similar situations
The young people who attended the sessions said that they benefited from the opportunity to meet with other young people to share experiences. Although they had learnt about some areas of this through places such as school or home, they felt that they learnt new information to keep themselves safe.
We will be delivering more internet awareness sessions later in the year to other young people.