Helping children to understand the internet and how to use it is critical in today's digital landscape. When we think about keeping our children and young people safe online, we need to move away from restriction to moderation and empowering them to be resilient. We need to be able to promote digital competence and resilience. 

Resources hubs


Ofcom warns social media organisations

Read this article by iNEQE about the recent Ofcom report as they offer advice for safeguarding children online.

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Safer Internet Day 2024

Safer Internet Day is a global initiative to promote safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology by children and young people. Our Adoption Consultant Jane Poore and Dr. Vicki Walker discussed the complexities of safeguarding in the digital world and what this could mean for social work practitioners in the children and families sector.

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Navigating online life with children and young people

Dr Vicki Walker shares her plans for working towards keeping children and young people safe online. She suggests that we need to move away from restriction and towards moderation, to empower children and young people to become resilient.

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Navigating online life with children and young people | The modules

Explore our collection of resources, developed by Dr Vicki Walker and Jane Poore. The publication date of the materials will span over the next 12-18 months. Delve into the impacts of online use on physical and mental health, particularly in adolescent development. Explore topics such as addiction, gambling, and the role of social workers in assessments.

Learn about how prospective adopters and carers can navigate social media responsibly. Discover strategies to safeguard children from online harm and stay updated on the evolving landscape of child protection online. Access resources to empower children and young people in enhancing their resilience and critical thinking for safe online navigation. Join us as we equip professionals and carers with the tools to manage digital risks effectively.

boy smiling with a chalk drawing of a brain behind him

Topic one: Adolescent development

Adolescents continue to develop with clear changes in their brain’s neural pathways. This is exhibited with sometimes challenging behaviour as they try to work through their emotions and their place in the world.

Coming soon
three teenage girls lying on a bed looking at their phones and not each other

Topic two: Mental health

The negative mental health impacts of social media and online content is worthy of discussion and considered thought. This moves beyond ideas of cyberbullying and trolling/abusive interactions to misinformation and disinformation which can lead to increased vulnerability for health, relationships, radicalisation and isolation.

Coming soon
teen on their phone in the dark, before bed

Topic three: Physical health

Impacts on physical health can be both positive and negative with many resources available to support children and young people with specific health conditions or offer appropriate information around risk taking behaviour.

Coming soon
mobile phone with colour notifications

Topic four: Social media in assessments of carers

Any assessment of potential carers, whether adopters, foster carers or kinship will involve an assessment of their use of the internet. Online life and social media are integral parts of life for professionals as well as carers and parents.

Coming soon
looking at a child holding adults hands with their back to the camera

Topic five: Child protection

This topic may be more familiar as it deals with abuse and exploitation that we also see in real life. However, the use of the online world in criminality and the overlap between online and real life is important and there are specific vulnerabilities online.

Coming soon
typing on a laptop

Topic six: Professional curiosity about online risk

We will consider how we can make discussing online life activities and social media use a part of everyday assessment and conversation.

Coming soon
red background with animation of mobile phone and megaphone

Topic seven: Content

We will consider content that is viewed as well as self-generated content such as intimate images; the impact of viewing significant violence or pornography content as well as fake news and disinformation.

Coming soon
Teen looking at their phone

Topic eight: Digital resilience and resources for young people

Resilience is defined as the ability to cope and come back from setbacks, facing a crisis calmly and managing to move on from negative situations.

Coming soon