AFA believes that we need to teach our young people how to use the internet in a safe way. Safer internet use starts at home! Here are some tips from the UK Safer Internet Centre on how to start:
Open and honest conversations
Talk regularly with the foster children in your care about how they use technology. Find out what their digital life is like, including what their favourite sites and services are and how being online makes them feel.
Take a balanced approach
As carers, it’s natural to feel worried about the risks posed by your foster child being online. But for young people the online world is exciting and fun, it brings so many opportunities for them.
Connect with your child by asking them to share with you their favourite things to do online, as well as discussing the risks they might come across.
Use the tools available to help you
There are lots of tools to help you manage the devices used by your family. For example, knowing how to activate and use parental controls can help protect your foster child from seeing inappropriate content online.
Know where to get help
It can sometimes feel like young people are the experts in all things online but remember – you are the life experts.
Make a family agreement
The online world is an increasingly large part of modern family life, so it makes sense to approach it as a family too. Why not make a pledge together on how, as a family, you’re going to use the internet safely and positively?
Helpful information and resources
Please see the link below for more information and resources available for you:
Safer Internet Centre
The safer internet centre is your go-to place to find online safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people safe online. Its mission is to make the internet a better place for children and young people. Take a look at their advice centre for all the information you could need.
Thinkuknow is an educational programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP command. Its aim is to keep children and young people safe by providing education about sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.
Talk to your placement manager
AFA has their own E-safety policy. Make sure you read this through.
If you have any concerns at all about a child you are caring for and their internet use, make sure you speak to your Placement Manager. They will be able to provide you with the support you need.