Posted February 11, 2020
Are you working toward a safer internet?
Today, on the 11th of February, marks Safer Internet Day 2020. This day aims to raise awareness to ensure that everyone is using the internet without the risk of any potential harm that is unique to the digital age. Every year, online issues are raised from cyberbullying to social networking to give people an understanding of how to use the internet safely in the modern era.
Ed Thompson, Blue Sky’s Training and Participations Manager, talks about safer internet and what that means for young people in care.
“Safe internet is a funny word, it’s almost as if there is an offline world and an online one, separable by “connecting” to a network and then logging off (ala 2000 dial-up internet!) but this is not the case anymore. Almost the entire world is connected through the internet, be it through social media or your search history, reading articles (like this one!) or using your sat nav. This presents challenges for all parents, but for looked after young people, it presents another layer. For various reasons the amount of technology and connectivity our young people access can be restrictive. However, we also have to balance that with digital literacy, which is the ability of our young people to function and engage safely with the online world, both as children and as independent adults. Our job is to make sure that we skill them up as much as possible to keep themselves safe. Today is about education and empowerment accompanied by nurture and role modelling. That is why we train our carers to be digital advocates, to embrace technology and to work with it. That is why at Blue Sky fostering we focus on the full digital picture with our training, what games can you play with young people to get into their world, how can you use technology for homework and how can you create a family project through the use of technology. We also focus on career paths for young people, looking at predicted trends in employment, to make sure that our kids, do not get left behind and we give them the best push start we can.”