For Children, Young People and their Supporters
Due to the impact of Covid-19, we understand that everyone spent much more time at home. Children and young people were not having the same daily interactions with others including teachers, friends and family outside of their household. Our digital world is therefore an excellent way to stay connected. Since Covid, we have become more reliant on it more than ever; not only to turn our homes into offices and put school online but also to socialise, connect and entertain.
Technology is a fantastic tool, for which many of us are grateful for during these difficult times. Unfortunately, a rise in the use of these technologies means that people who want to connect to others in abusive, inappropriate or unsafe ways, such as through online grooming, might have more opportunities to do so. In light of this, we wanted to share some tips and resources around online safety for children, young people and their families, and where you can receive support if you have concerns about yourself, a child, a friend or family member. It is still vitally important that we refuse to be bystanders, as we need to remain vigilant for children and young people, and take action to protect them.
Support for Children & Young People
You do not need to deal with online sexual abuse or exploitation on your own. It is important to reach out, receive support and talk to a safe adult, if you can. There is always someone to talk to. You can contact us by emailing email@example.com (counselling and wellbeing service) or firstname.lastname@example.org (ISVA/advocacy service).
The Childline helpline (0800 1111) and the one-to-one chat (link below) is also open 9am – midnight, or have a look at some of the resources below for information and support.
For age-specific support with staying safe online – https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
BBC’s website to support young people with life online – https://www.bbc.com/ownit
Information on grooming, how to spot the signs & what to do if you think you’re being groomed – https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/online-grooming/
Download Childline’s Zipit app – respond to unwanted chat with the power of GIFs https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/sexting/zipit-app/#1
One-to-one Childline online chat – https://www.childline.org.uk/get-support/1-2-1-counsellor-chat/
Support for Parents & Carers
From advice around the latest apps to how to report online abuse, there are many brilliant online resources and support services on how to keep children and young people safe online.
If you are concerned about a child or young person, you can contact us by emailing email@example.com (counselling and wellbeing service) or firstname.lastname@example.org (ISVA/advocacy service).The NSPCC helpline is also open for parents and families 24/7- 0808 800 5000.
CYP SARC Leaflet for parents, carers and supporters (West Midlands Regional Children & Young People Sexual Assault Service).
Support for families to keep children & young people safe online – https://www.internetmatters.org/
For advice around parental controls, on how to start a conversation around online safety, and more help & advice – https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/
This is a brilliant guide by the NSPCC and O2. It has all the latest advice and information on the social networks, websites and apps children & young people may be using https://www.net-aware.org.uk/
As always, we are here for you. Please see our latest update for how we are continuing to support survivors during the current pandemic. https://rsvporg.co.uk/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-2/ or email email@example.com (for counselling and wellbeing appointments) or firstname.lastname@example.org (for ISVA/advocacy appointments).
Sending care and compassion,
The RSVP team.
This online resource has been researched by one of our young volunteers.
“I think Kooth is a good platform ‘cos it provides positive self-care for many personal problems, as well as a place where you can get advice and help from. Not only that, but Kooth offers support through online counselling and there’s a list of other good organisations where you can go to for help too. It’s also anonymous, they don’t want your real name”.
As a service, fully commissioned by Birmingham Children’s Partnership Trust, Kooth.com is a free, safe, anonymous and non-stigmatised way for young people to receive counselling, advice and support online. Staffed by fully trained and qualified counsellors and available until 10pm each night, 365 days per year, it provides a much needed out of hours’ service for advice and support. As well as counselling, peer to peer support can also be accessed through their moderated message forums and online magazine.
Their experienced counsellors are available to provide emotional support to young people with a wide range of issues, from having a bad day to more serious issues such as bullying, stress, anxiety, depression, family relationships, sexuality, eating disorders, self-harm, abuse etc. During such unprecedented times, lots of young people are also seeking support around isolation, predicted exam grades, change of life, their future outlook, employment options and fear of COVID19 to mention a few.
For more information visit Kooth’s website