Special Report: E-Safety and Online Safeguarding

While the internet provides great opportunities for children and young people, good safeguarding practice is essential to protect them from the threats of abuse, exploitation, bullying and radicalisation.

A generation of young people have grown up knowing nothing other than a world where the internet is present. Many will have learnt to use a computer as an infant, owned a mobile phone by the time they enter secondary school and formed friendships on social media with people they may never have met in person.

The internet presents huge opportunities for young people: online gaming is now a major pastime, some bloggers have millions of followers who tune in regularly to watch them play games or review the latest products, while tech skills are some of the most sought after and well rewarded by employers.

Unfortunately, alongside these benefits, come risks. The anonymity of the internet provides fertile ground for abusers and those seeking to exploit and brainwash young people. The prevalence of internet-enabled devices provides new platforms for bullying and inappropriate material with the potential to expose children to violent and sexually explicit content they are not emotionally able to understand.

Much of the responsibility for minimising children's exposure to online risks lies with parents, but services that work with young people, particularly those in the education and safeguarding arenas, can also play a major role in keeping them safe.

CYP Now's special report on e-safety and online safeguarding summarises the key government policies to protect children, highlights latest research on the prevalence of risks and young people's use of the internet, and features the work of four initiatives aimed at keeping children safe from online threats.

Click on these article links for more:

E-Safety and Online Safeguarding: Policy context

Research Evidence:

Pornography, Sexual Coercion and Abuse and Sexting in Young People's Intimate Relationships: A European Study

A Descriptive Account of Victims' Behaviour and Responses in Sexually Exploitative Interactions with Offenders

Cyberbullying: A Storm In a Teacup?

"In Their Own Words: What Bothers Children Online?"

Practice examples:

Walk Online

Trust Me

Play Like Share

Sexting Guidance

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